Climate Change Migration: Legal Protection Under International Refugee Law and Climate Change Legal Regime
The climate change migration/displacement is a crisis moment for humanity in the contemporary world that has been impacting the geopolitical and sociocultural trajectory of the nation-states. Countries have been reordering their geoeconomic dynamics and foreign policy semantics while taking into account the climate change and its impacts. Climate change is destined to produce an unprecedented displaced population that could be measurable to the traditional refugee-like conditions regarding vulnerability and victimhood that would suffer from natural resources and reserve crunch. The climate change-induced displacement and human migration need a response under international refugee law and international climate change law frameworks. Thus, the development of climate change law and protection of CDPs thereunder has to be located by examining the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement and appreciating the legal principles of COPs in response to the climate migration. At the same time, the legal protections under refugee law limitations thereof and application of human rights law, country of origin and host state responsibilities have also been addressed by an advocacy for an alternative regional or international legal regime on climate refugees. Therefore, the instant chapter addresses the extent of protection granted to climate-displaced people under refugee law, climate change law and human rights law. The chapter discusses the complex legal issues associated with climate change-induced displacement and analyses the existing legal protection for climate change displacement under international law. The first part of the chapter makes an attempt to identify the inherent provisions to address the issue of climate change displacement under the international climate change law. The second part of the chapter addresses the question, whether the climate change-induced displacement could be categorized as political refugees and whether the issue of climate displacement could be attended and addressed under the existing refugee law framework.