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Achieving a climate justice pathway to 1.5 °C

An Author Correction to this article was published on 07 August 2018

This article has been updated


It is vital for climate justice to pursue a pathway to zero carbon emissions by 2050 to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and to minimize the adverse impacts of climate change on people and their human rights. But can such a pathway be achieved without undermining human rights and restricting the right to development? This Perspective discusses the risks of action and inaction to identify a fair and just transition. It compares the risks posed to human rights from climate impacts with the risks posed by climate action and suggests that rights-informed climate action can maximize benefits for people and the planet.

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Fig. 1: Carbon phase-out by 2050.
Fig. 2: Annual per capita income of several developed and developing countries when emissions peak.

Change history

  • 07 August 2018

    In the version of this Perspective originally published, there was a typo in column 3 of Table 1: ‘Wealth’ should have read ‘Health’. This has been corrected in the online versions of this Perspective.


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We thank C. Clarke for reviewing the early drafts of this Perspective. We also acknowledge P. Baer and S. Kartha, who prepared a paper for the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice on Zero Carbon Zero Poverty in 2015 that informed this Perspective. P. Baer is missed by all who work on climate justice and we dedicate this article to his memory.

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M.R. and T.S. wrote the initial version of the paper. T.S. led on reviewing and analysing the literature, and on redrafting with inputs from M.R.

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Correspondence to Tara Shine.

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Robinson, M., Shine, T. Achieving a climate justice pathway to 1.5 °C. Nature Clim Change 8, 564–569 (2018).

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