The global trend toward adopting environmental rights within national constitutions has been largely regarded as a positive development for both human rights and the natural environment. The impact of constitutional environmental rights, however, has yet to be systematically assessed using empirical data. In particular, expanding procedural environmental rights—legal provisions relating to access to information, participation, and justice in environmental matters—provides fertile ground for analyzing how environmental rights directly interface with conditions necessary for a functioning democracy. To understand the extent to which these provisions deliver on their lofty aspirations, we conducted a quantitative analysis to assess the relationship between procedural environmental rights and environmental justice, while also controlling for the extent of democracy within a country. The results suggest that states with procedural environmental rights are more likely than nonadopting states to facilitate attaining environmental justice, especially as it relates to access to information.

You do not currently have access to this content.