In his last report to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, David R. Boyd, focused on the right to breathe clean air. He also described the negative impact of air pollution on the enjoyment of many human rights, in particular the right to life and the right to health, in particular by vulnerable groups. He also recalled that the right to a healthy environment has been recognized by a majority of States in their constitutions, legislation, and various regional treaties to which they are parties. He highlighted the different State obligations in relation to the right to breathe clean air, which are both procedural and substantive, as well as the specific obligation to protect people and groups in vulnerable situations.
In his analysis, he also underscored the Escazú Agreement and particularly its article 4, which reads that “each Party shall guarantee the right of every person to live in a healthy environment”. During his presentation to the Council, ECLAC delivered a statement welcoming the report and referring to the articles of the Escazú Agreement that are more relevant to ensure the right to breathe clean air.