Portuguese Climate Law includes the status of Climate as a Common Heritage of Humanity

Last 5 November the Climate Framework Law was approved in the Portuguese Parliament, after a process of creation and wide consultation carried out mainly in the Environment, Energy and Spatial Planning Commission of the Portuguese Parliament. This new legal instrument is crucial to align the Portuguese climate policy for the coming decades with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

In this participatory process, CIJ played a particularly active role, having been the first responsible for the first research that resulted in the consideration of Climate as a Common Heritage of Humanity (article 15, paragraph f), of the future law) committing Portugal to promote this recognition at the United Nations, which, if it happens, constitutes an important conceptual evolution of international law. CIJ also promoted the petition that collected the signatures of 260 academics in favour of this recognition.

The recognition of Climate as a Common Heritage of Humanity implies the concrete definition of stable climate as a legal good under international law, which should be managed as a common good. The main advantage of this recognition is to make visible not only the damage caused to the common climate heritage, but also, and above all, the positive benefits generated therein, which is a structural condition for building an economy capable of restoring a stable climate.

On this subject, you can see two news items in Expresso: