Climate Change and Freedom of Assembly: Some Human Rights Questions for COP24

A little over a month ago, the Polish parliament passed a law on organizational issues related to the Conference of Parties (COP24) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will meet next in December in Katowice, Poland. While the law has not received much international media attention, it has caused quite a stir amongst environmental non-governmental organizations and human rights activists. It prohibits participation in any spontaneous assembly in Katowice during the entire COP24 meeting; and authorizes the Polish government to collect participants’ personal data for reasons of public safety.

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Climate Change protection goes local – remarks on the Vienna Airport Case

Climate Change was brought before the Austrian Federal Administrative Court in the beginning of 2017. The judgement concerning the construction and operation of a third runway acknowledges the current development in the UNFCCC process and, as such, is of special importance and without precedence: According to the Court, the fight against Climate Change and its consequences for Austria overrides the public interest in the expansion of the Vienna Airport.

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