Climate change Climate Migrants Climate Refugees Common Home IOM Migratory Justice

Our Common Home: The New Juridico-Political Category of ‘Climate Refugees’

In this fifth blog post, I will examine IOM’s – International Organization for Migration recurrent stance on how more measures are needed to protect climate migrants and climate refugees around the world and its relationships with both new research lines on climate migrants being created and developed by migration research institutes around the globe (from New Zealand to Germany and Canada) and the debate around the need for the recognition of a new juridico-political category (or a specific juridical protection status): the so-called ‘climate refugees’. 

© Alexandra Pereira, CECC, UCP, 2022

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  • IOM’s – International Organization for Migration recurrent stance on how more measures are needed to protect climate migrants and climate refugees globally[1].
  • New research lines on climate migrants and climate refugees have recently been created by multiple migration and refugees research institutes around the world.
  • The concept of climate refugees corresponds to a new juridico-political category, or to a specific protection status, which is still not internationally recognized nor harmonized. Integral human development (IHD) and its correlative concept of integral ecology can provide a useful framework to rethink and expand, in a more comprehensive and humanist manner, the concept of climate refugees.
  • Several authors point out that a leading role could (and should) be taken by the European Union in determining the international recognition of the new juridico-political category of ‘climate refugees’.

Climate change has originated growing phenomena involving the displacement of affected persons or groups of people across different regions or countries around the world. Climate displacement[2] has increasingly drawn the attention of migrations and environmental researchers, juridical[3], global affairs and development specialists[4]. However, the concept of climate refugees corresponds to a juridico-political category (or to a specific protection status) which is still not internationally recognized. Humanity is already confronted with the limits to its own sustainability and it will have to take fundamental, practical resolutions in the near future which will impact decisively on the current economic and consumption models and global population growth tendencies. Climate change is a reality proven by numerous scientific studies and factual evidence accumulated over, at least, the past 60 years, as well as by the documented life experiences of millions of human beings spread around the globe. Climate-related disasters have doubled in the last 20 years and force millions of people to flee every year. Scientists keep warning us about the consequences of ignoring catastrophic world climate scenarios[5], while others underline the totally anomalous population growth in the history of our species or the fact that the Arctic warmed four times faster than the rest of the globe for the past 40 years[6]. Based on different contributions, I propose here a broader, humanist definition for the concept of “climate refugees” – desirably contributing to the debate on the harmonized international juridical framework necessary for the recognition of such legal protection status, or new juridico-political category, within the framework of integral of human development and its correlative concept of integral ecology. Thus, this article is subdivided into the following sections: 1. Origins of the Concept and Theoretical Framework; 2. Climate Refugees in the Legal Framework of the European Union (EU); 3. The Limits of Sustainability: Population, Consumption and the Growth Economy Versus The Idea of ​​an Integral Ecology; 4. Climate Refugees in the Framework of Integral Human Development; and 5. Critical Analysis and Definition Proposal.

My research question was the following: will it be possible to harmonize the set of pre-existing definitions for the phenomenon of the so-called “climate refugees” (already systematized by organizations such as the IOM – International Organization for Migration) in the light of the principles of integral ecology and integral human development? One of the objectives sought here is to contribute, based on studies on migrations, to the current debate on the need for the juridico-political recognition of the new category of “climate refugees” and the urgency of harmonizing this protection status within the framework of the European Union, from a legal standpoint and considering an amendment to international refugee law. Another objective to be achieved is to demonstrate that, regardless of past and present theoretical debates within the domains of ​​migrations or the environment, it is perfectly possible to provide a simultaneously comprehensive and detailed definition of the category of “climate refugees”, which can frame a varied set of situations and serve as a basis for jurists to specify a protection status with specific requirements. Finally, a third objective of this article is to demonstrate that the framework of integral ecology and, more generally, integral human development can serve as a compass or guide and contribute with relevant practical solutions for some of the most pressing debates in our time.

In conceptual terms, I will start by presenting the points of view of several authors on the main issues of migratory justice in the European Union, harmonized and non-harmonized legal frameworks, recognition of the protection status of the “climate refugee” and its integration within the scope of the debate about the different “limits of sustainability”. Then, I will present a definition of “climate refugees” that reconciles the previous ones, framed in integral ecology and integral human development. The “nine planetary boundaries” with their terms defined by Rockström et al. (2009), Steffen et al. (2015) and the MECLEP Glossary – Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy[7] (2014) by the IOM can serve as a guide for a proposal of a broader and more humanist definition of the term “climate refugees” – making it possible to cover a spectrum of different emergency situations, respond to protection needs, accelerate discussion and cooperation between experts in different countries and, potentially, generate a minimum consensus that leads to the political recognition and harmonization of this new juridico-political category, or specific protection status, across different legal frameworks.

1. Origins of the Concept and Theoretical Framework

The concept of “environmental refugee”, debated by researchers and by the international community since the 1980s, has now evolved into the more common, recurrent expression found in the literature: that of “climate refugee”, or even “ecological refugee” (Hiraide, 2022). Despite its relevance and its growing need, the new juridico-political category of “climate refugee” is still not internationally recognized. This discussion has been deepened over the last few years, in the face of: a large number of natural disasters and other ecological and environmental catastrophes, as well as more visible, mediatized and increased migratory movements associated with them (Berchin et al., 2017; Carević and Novokmet, 2021; Hiraide, 2022)[8]. Researchers, experts, and international organizations have long called for an amendment to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees[9] in order to include, among forced migrations, those resulting from natural disasters and climate change – as this Convention does not recognize environmental factors as a criterion for defining the protection status of “refugee” (Berchin et al., 2017; Carević & Novokmet, 2021; Hiraide, 2022).

In response to the growing international recognition of this phenomenon, the Nansen Initiative emerged (it ran between 2012 and 2015), with the aim of helping displaced people in the context of disasters and catastrophes, or due to the effects of climate change, based on international cooperation (solidarity), norms for the treatment of people (admission, permanence, rights and duties) and operational responses (financing mechanisms and responsibilities). This was followed, in 2016, by the UNHCR – New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, where two global pacts emerge: one on refugees and the other on “other migrants”. In this second global pact, entitled Global Pact for the Security, Order and Regularity of Migration (approved on December 10, 2018, in Morocco), the situation of migrants displaced by climatic causes is recognized. Likewise, COP 24 addressed this issue; however, recognition of this legal status has not been achieved. COP 25 (2019) highlighted the problem of desertification and the food system, while the International Organization for Migration (IOM) recognized that global climatic conditions have consequences on people’s lives and favor human mobility, having presented a more substantial link between disasters and displacement and exerted continuous pressure for the broad recognition of such connection.

According to the IDMC – Internal Displacement Monitoring Center[10], which aggregates data on internal displacement and displacement associated with disasters, 28.6 million displacements linked to climate change were recorded in 2020, mainly associated with floods and storms. Using the same source, the Plataforma de Desplazamientos y Migraciones Climáticas (Madrid) collected data for 23.9 million displacements associated with the climate in 2019:

Photo: Data from the Plataforma de Desplazamientos y Migraciones Climáticas (Madrid) for the year of 2019.

Still according to the IDMC, these were the five countries with the most new displacements by disasters in 2019:

Photo: Data by the IDMC, Five Countries with the most new displacements by disasters in 2019.

Persons and groups of people will increasingly feel the need to move to other regions, sometimes to other countries, as climate change increases globally. Thus, it is to be expected that the concept of “environmental refugee”, “climate refugee” or “ecological refugee” (depending on the definitions and identifying this type of refugee/migrant/displaced person with greater or lesser specificity) will gain increasing visibility. Nonetheless, there are still some difficulties associated with a comprehensive definition of this type of movement or flow of people. In addition, five years after the publication of the Encyclical Laudato Si’, the Vatican presented, in May 2020, a document for the application of the Encyclical with more than 200 recommendations in defense of the environment and human life. This document includes notes that aim to make educational institutions responsible for the study of climate change, on the impact of environmental degradation over entire populations and the need for legal recognition of the category of “climate refugees”[11].

Photo: World Food Programme/Samantha Reinders, 2022. Drought forced Mido and her family to make the challenging journey to Dolow. The family arrived with just the clothes on their backs. In Somalia, a country with a population of 12.3 million, 7.1 million people face acute food insecurity and 213k people face catastrophic hunger, mostly due to drought and conflict.

Also the United Nations 2030 Agenda, under the motto “do not leave anyone behind”, includes targets related to migration (11 of the 17 sustainable development targets are related to migration and the mobility of people). Sustainable development objective 10.7 specifically aims to “facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed policies”. It may happen, however, that the contours and characteristics of forced migration resulting from this type of extreme climatic and environmental events are not clear, namely in numerical terms (scale of transregional and transborder migration resulting from climate change and/or environmental disasters), in character (permanent or transitory) of such displacements and in its legal framework (internationally harmonized), so the response to this type of phenomenon remains limited, inadequate, underdeveloped and underspecialized.

2. Climate Refugees in the Legal Framework of the European Union (EU)

The UNHCR – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UN’s Refugee Agency), and its Special Advisor for Climate Action since 2020 (Andrew Harper) guide the climate action agenda by focusing on three broad areas: laws and policies, operations (which include the Refugee Environmental Protection Fund and the Operational Strategy for Climate Resilience and Environmental Sustainability 2022-2025) and the environmental footprint. Since 2015, as a permanent guest of the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) and a member of its advisory group, the UNHCR has strengthened its collaboration with states, partners such as IOM, UNDRR[12], UNFCCC[13], WMO[14], UNDP[15] and other key actors to address these challenges. The PDD is a state-led initiative in support of the implementation of the Nansen Initiative protection agenda in cross-border displacement due to disasters, of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and of the Paris Agreement[16]. According to the UNHCR, “Refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and stateless persons are on the front lines of the climate emergency. Many live in climate ‘hotspots’, where they often lack the resources to adapt to an increasingly hostile environment” (UNHCR, 2020). At COP 26 (2021)[17], the UNHCR urged all parties to:

«1. Combat the growing and disproportionate impacts of the climate emergency on the most vulnerable countries and communities – in particular, the displaced persons and their hosts;

2. Support vulnerable countries and communities in their efforts to rapidly scale up prevention and preparedness measures to prevent, minimize and address displacement.» (UNHCR, 2021)

For the UNHCR, “The climate crisis is a human crisis. It is driving displacement and making life more difficult for those who have already been forced to flee.” (UNHCR, 2022). Thus, the UNHCR provides protection and assistance to many refugees and other people displaced by the effects of climate change, besides helping them to increase their resilience in the face of future disasters. The impacts of climate change are numerous and can trigger displacement and worsen living conditions or return for those who have already been displaced. Climate change can also act as a threat multiplier, exacerbating existing tensions and increasing the potential for conflict to occur. Risks resulting from the increasing intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, such as unusually heavy rains, prolonged droughts, desertification, environmental degradation or rising sea levels, and cyclones already drive an average of more than 20 million people a year to leave their homes, moving to other areas inside their countries. Some of these people are forced to cross borders in the context of climate change and disasters and may, under some circumstances, need international protection. Therefore, refugee and human rights laws have an important role to play in this domain. The Global Compact on Refugees (UN General Assembly, 2018) directly addressed this issue, by recognizing that “climate, environmental degradation and disasters increasingly interact with the drivers of refugee movements” (UN, 2018)[18].

Photo: Small caravan of donkeys carrying water in the sand storm, following a major drought in 2017 in Mauritania, by Sibylle Desjardins for IOM, 2018.

When we consider climate/environmental displacement within the EU’s domestic legal framework, and since international refugee law can only be applied to a very limited extent, international human rights laws remain a possible, viable “complementary” basis for the protection claimed by climatically/environmentally displaced persons. These complementary forms of protection derive primarily from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention Against Torture (CAT), as well as the ECHR and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFR), in addition to the Qualification Directive (QD, Directive 2011/95/EU) in the EU context. In particular, the right to life (Art. 6 ICCPR, Art 2 CEHR, Art 2 CFR) and the prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment (Art. 7 ICCPR, Art 3 CAT, Art 3 CEHR, Art 4 CFR; Art 15 QD) are relevant in the context of protecting climate/environmentally displaced persons (Kraler et al., 2020:71). Within the framework of European legislation, international protection within the EU is guaranteed by a set of EU regulations and directives, jointly known as the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).

Although there is a brief reference to climate change and migration in the Stockholm Program, the second generation of CEAS instruments does not directly address the protection provided in the context of climate change or natural disasters either (Kraler et al., 2020: 71). Even so, the QD – Qualification Directive (which harmonizes and creates common standards among member states on how to consider a person in need of international protection) and other instruments and initiatives in the EU create entry points for these cases, namely: the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD 2001/55/EC), still within the CEAS, the Return Directive (EU RD 2008/115/EC), the non-harmonized protection statute, the Resettlement and Humanitarian Admission Programs (and the Regulation for an EU Resettlement Framework) and other additional options (such as humanitarian visas and the European Humanitarian Visa requested by the European Parliament to the European Commission in 2018)[19].

An ad hoc consultation on climate change and migration by the EMN – European Migration Network in 2018 revealed that, in most countries, the link between climate change and migration was not widely discussed at that point. Regarding international protection (harmonized protection status within the European Union), the EU as a whole has followed the 1951 Refugee Convention, according to which climate change and environmental disasters do not provide a legal basis for granting the refugee status[20] (Kraler et al., 2020). Thus, in order to qualify as a refugee, the applicant must provide a link to one of the five protection grounds in the 1951 Refugee Convention or, in the case of EU member states, under the QD – Qualification Directive, from 2011. A brief survey carried out by the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) within the scope of the aforementioned study commissioned by the European Parliament (Kraler et al., 2020), carried out in selected countries, also revealed that none of the European Union members planned to make use of subsidiary protection for reasons of environmental or natural disasters. But subsidiary protection can apply under certain circumstances: even if environmental reasons are not explicitly stated in the Austrian migration and asylum law, for example, they could potentially lead to a protection status if the return of a person claiming climatic or environmental reasons and who does not receive refugee status in Austria constitute a real danger of violating Articles nr. 2 and no. 3 of the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR).

Regarding the non-harmonized protection status in the European Union: in addition to the harmonized international protection statutes (there is currently no international harmonization of the concept of “climate refugee”), the member states of the European Union provide standards of protection which are often more favorable than those defined or provided in the general legal framework of the European Union, by extending protection to persons who do not qualify for international protection (European Parliament, 2020). Countries such as Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Cyprus or the work that has been developed by Germany or Ireland within the scope of their respective juridical systems are examples of this situation. The Swedish Aliens Act (2005: 716), chapter 4, section 2a, together with its chapter 5, section 1a, provides protection for a person who cannot return to his or her home country due to an environmental disaster. In Italy, national protection can be granted to migrants – who first did not qualify for international protection – if there are “serious reasons” of a humanitarian nature, such as famine or environmental/natural disasters in the country of origin, among others. The Finnish Aliens Act 301/2004, Chapter 6, Section 88a, opens up the possibility of granting humanitarian protection if neither asylum nor subsidiary protection can be granted, but the person is unable to return to his or her country of origin or habitual residence as a result of (among other reasons) environmental catastrophe. However, both Sweden and Finland had, in 2020, suspended the respected provisions, following the high number of arrivals recorded in 2015-16 (Kraler et al., 2020).

Photo: Courtesy by João Feijó Artist. Forest Fire in Fontes, Abrantes (Portugal), 14th of August, 2022.

The Swiss Aliens and Integration Act, Art 83, provides temporary admission if the application of a removal order (from a humanitarian point of view) is unreasonable, because the person concerned is “in concrete danger due to situations such as war, civil war, general violence and medical emergencies in their country of origin” (the Federal Council had already stated, in 2008, that this regulation is applicable to “persons displaced as a result of disasters”). Simultaneously, there is a provision in both the Swiss Asylum Act and the Aliens and Integration Act on the basis of which the application of return to a region affected by a natural disaster may be temporarily suspended (Article 44, Paragraph 2, ACT and Article 83, Parag. 4, Foreigners and Integration Act). In Cyprus, the Art 29(4) of the Refugee Act, from 2000, includes environmental destruction as an additional ground for non-repudiation of refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection.

Germany has been working to establish mechanisms to provide adequate protection for people affected by displacement induced by weather and environmental disasters in disaster-prone countries, as part of its humanitarian assistance and development cooperation. The German Advisory Council for Global Change proposed, in 2018, the development of a “climate passport”, which should “offer those at risk from global warming the option of gaining access to civil rights in safe countries” (in a first phase, intended for citizens of small island nations whose territories will become uninhabitable and who will therefore become stateless). In conclusion, it should be noted that the low number of countries that have a climate or environment-related element in their protection system makes it difficult to trigger the respective changes at the EU level. In addition, while it is true that national humanitarian protection statutes provide leeway for countries to extend protection to people affected by climate/environmental change and by specifically natural disasters, they also regularly provide a lower protection status than the one stipulated in the QD for refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection[21].

3. The Limits of Sustainability: Population, Consumption and the Growth Economy Versus The Idea of an Integral Ecology

Louis-Joseph Lebret (1897-1966)[22] was preoccupied with development issues in the whole world, founded the IRFED – Centre International Développement et Civilisations, proposed the notion of “human economy” and was able to verify, through his work with the fisheries sector in France in the ’30s of the 20th century and during decades of experience with the mobilization of the social bases in Latin America, that traditional economic schemes focused only on growth and the accumulation of wealth did not allow us to respond adequately to human needs (Keleher, 2018). Almost a century later, Washington, Lowe and Kopnina (2020) identify three major drivers of an unsustainable human approach: population, consumption and the growth economy. The authors argue that there is widespread denial about such issues, but they clearly need to be addressed if we are to achieve any of the possible sustainable futures for our species. Thus, warnings about overpopulation both in the two versions of the World Scientists Warning to Humanity, in the IPCC[23] and the IPBES[24] reports were largely ignored – and these authors both weigh the size of an ecologically sustainable global population and refute the idea according to which discussing overpopulation would be “anti-human”.

Planetary Boundaries Framework, by the Stockholm Resilience Center. Licenced under CC BY 4.0 (Credit: J. Lokrantz/Azote based on Steffen et al. 2015.)

On the other hand, researchers from the Stockholm Resilience Center (cited by Abegão, 2021[25]) have dedicated a part of their research work to ask how long can this regime of continuous human growth last and where will we face the boundaries of our own sustainability – they proposed the “nine planetary boundaries framework” (Rockström et al., 2009; Steffen et al., 2015)[26]. They argue that humanity has already moved beyond the “high risk zone” for at least “two planetary boundaries”: the integrity of the biosphere and biogeochemical flows (mostly through the agricultural use of fertilizers). At the same time, we find ourselves in an “increased risk zone” for “two additional planetary boundaries”: climate change and the conversion of natural areas for human purposes. As for the remaining “planetary boundaries”, these scientists postulate that those remain unquantified or will still be in a safe zone – at least as far as we know. Another “boundary” to be considered is the entire global ecological footprint (we have also unequivocally exceeded that limit, which has been in overload for several decades): it is estimated that we are currently making use of the renewable resources of 1.7 Earth planets, and this value will increase to 3 Earth planets by 2050. Such unsustainable paradigm only remains in place because humanity is transforming the biosphere into a monopoly of supremacy for one single species and preventing access by other species (Abegão, 2021). Now, a brief compilation of relatively recent scientific articles shows that we greatly underestimated the possible consequences of such monopoly over the biosphere:

«(…) ice is melting faster than expected, while sea levels have risen more than previously projected and the oceans are taking less heat away from the atmosphere than expected. Simultaneously, plants are taking less CO2 out of the atmosphere than we had foreseen, and tropical forests that have been turned into crops for human use have a much lower carbon sequestration potential than we had anticipated. Deaths from air pollution are at least double than previously assumed and the contribution of the airline industry to this pollution and to global warming remains grossly underestimated.» (Abegão, 2021)

Given this set of data, we can’t help but feel overwhelmed and tempted to pessimism. This temptation, however, demands from us the answer that can only be given by a New Humanism. As Isabel Capeloa Gil writes: “But the last hour has not yet arrived. Despite the clock advancing steadfastly towards the end of the world. The climate crisis and the exhaustion of our planet are evidences and not mere principles.” (Gil, 2022[27]). One way out of the catastrophe may be the deliberate decision to adopt an Integral Ecology perspective. According to Butkus and Kholmes (2017), Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’ (2015) launched a new conceptual language in the Church’s Social Doctrine (CSD): what is designated there as “Integral Ecology”, given the perception that it would be necessary to look for comprehensive solutions encompassing the interaction with the environmental systems-themselves and also with the social systems, in order to “face what are not to be considered two separate crises (…) but one complex crisis, which is both environmental and social” (LS., nr. CXXXVIII). In order to solve this complex crisis, we are called to use an integrated approach, to “fight poverty, restore the dignity of the excluded and, at the same time, protect nature” (LS., nr. CXXXVIII). The motto “An Integral Ecology for an Integral Society” is thus assumed as the “great challenge of our times” (DPIHD[28], 2018).

4. Climate Refugees in the Framework of Integral Human Development (IHD)

The notion of “climate refugees” gains prominence in view of the increasing frequency recorded of extreme phenomena and severe, or drastic, climate and environmental changes, such as the monsoons (e.g. Bangladesh) and torrential rains (e.g. Germany), heat waves reaching 62°C in South Asia (e.g. India and Pakistan), hurricanes (e.g. Caribbean and southern United States), wildfires in North America (e.g. California and Canada) and South America (e.g. Amazon and other biomes – such as the Pantanal, Atlantic Woods or Cerrado –, causing the displacement of many indigenous and riverside people and other locals), in Siberia or Mediterranean countries (e.g. Greece and Portugal) and in Africa, and natural disasters such as typhoons (e.g. Typhoon Idai, which devastated entire regions of Mozambique and Zimbabwe), volcanic activity (e.g. Canary Islands, São Jorge dos Azores) or earthquakes (e.g. Haiti, Turkey, Nepal). The notion of “climate refugees” also gains a greater relevance as a number of agencies and non-governmental organizations spread across the globe are dedicated to the topic or disseminate it, and a series of institutes (from New Zealand and Australia to Canada, Germany and Spain) linked to migratory and environmental research bring together efforts in new interdisciplinary platforms with the aim of studying it.

The expression “Integral Human Development” (IHD) appears for the first time in Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical Populorum Progresio (1967) or “Development of the Peoples”, although many of the key ideas in that Encyclical, as well as the conceptual foundations of the expression “integral human development” go back to the work of the French Dominican Father, economist and social activist Louis-Joseph Lebret (1897-1966) (Keleher, 2018: 29).

Photo: Father Lebret smoking his pipe

According to the Integral Human Development Research Lab at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the field of integral human development (IHD):

«(…) combines elements of peace, development, ethics and economics to arrive at a holistic understanding of a human-centred theory of development, in an ecologically conscious context. IHD focuses on the integral development of each person, deriving its ethics from the principles of the Catholic Social Doctrine, with a particular emphasis on human dignity.» (IHD Research Lab, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, 2022)

Still according to Keleher (2018), the IHD offers a radical participatory approach to the field of human development, having extended beyond the institution and social practice of the Catholic Church, by decisively influencing concepts such as those of “authentic development” and “development ethics”. Furthermore, IHD is integral in at least two ways: (1) development is not just economic development, but the development of the whole person: including social, political, creative, spiritual development, etc.; (2) development is the development of each person, whether that person is a marginalized peasant or part of a powerful elite (Keleher, 2017: 19). From the perspective of Hodges et al. (2018), Pope Francis argues that integral human development must be based on an alliance between humanity and the environment for sustainable human development, which implies the assumption of new habits and behaviors, substantiating a path to “rehumanization”, based on an environmental conscience and denouncing the evils of modernity.

Expressing its concerns over the issues of justice and peace, migrations, health, charity and care for creation, the Holy See formed, on the 17th of August 2016, the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development[29] with competences in the following fields: migrations, the poor, the sick, the excluded, the marginalized, the victims of natural disasters, the victims of conflict, the unemployed, the imprisoned and the victims of any form of slavery or torture. Within the scope of its action, the Dicastery collects information and research in the areas of justice and peace, the development of peoples, the promotion and defense of human dignity and human rights, in order to provide conclusions to the episcopal agencies for an intervention.

Photo: Reuters/Loren Elliott and Público Newspaper (Portugal). Climate migrations on the media: “The sea level rises and forces Fiji Islands inhabitants to move. They want the polluters to pay for it”, 5th of August 2022

The Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations (which includes recent subscribers such as the IOM) defines a set of commitments assumed by its signatories[30] (local, national and international humanitarian organizations). But the pastoral guidelines for the climate displaced people result, rather, from an exchange between the Sections “Migrants and Refugees” and “Integral Ecology”, both under the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. These guidelines recognize the climate crisis and displacement nexus, detailing different aspects: promoting awareness and dissemination, providing alternatives to displacement, preparing people for displacement, promoting inclusion and integration, exercising positive influence over the formulation of policies, extending pastoral care, cooperating in strategic planning and action, promoting professional training in integral ecology and academic research in CCD – Climate Crisis and Displacement. According to Pope Francis (2021), to see or not to see is the question that will lead us to answer together, through action: “what effect do the stories of displaced people and climate refugees have on us and how do we respond to them (through fleeting or decisive and deep responses)?”. Whether these stories seem close or remote to us, whether we take the trouble to “be painfully aware, dare to transform what is happening… into our own personal suffering and thus discover what each of us can do about it” (LS, XIX).

Photo: Laudato Si’ Goals, by the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development.

Furthermore, such concern is evident in the Laudato Si’ Objectives[31], developed from the encyclical of Pope Francis Laudato Si’ in order to train people for new ways of living, based on the following objectives: (i) response to the cry of the Earth; (ii) response to the cry of the poor; (iii) ecological economics; (iv) adoption of sustainable lifestyles; (v) ecological education; (vi) ecological spirituality; (vii) community resilience and empowerment. All objectives reveal a concern with integral human development, however objective (ii) response to the cry of the poor includes actions to promote solidarity, namely towards refugees and migrants, objective (v) ecological education includes actions for the protection of the dignity of workers, and the objective (vii) resilience and empowerment of the community encompasses actions to promote the encouragement of rooting and a sense of belonging in local communities and in neighboring ecosystems all these objectives reinforce the importance of protecting migrations and migrants’ rights, in line with the goal of protecting our Common Home for the good of all.

Photo: Lisbon Street Art during a heat wave by Alexandra Pereira, July 2022

5. Critical Analysis and Definition Proposal

Pondering the “nine planetary boundaries” by Rockström et al. (2009) and Steffen et al. (2015), together with the summary by De Tavernier & Ndubueze (2020) and the terms defined by the glossary Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy – ​​MECLEP, 2014, we observe that the notions of “climate migrant/refugee” and “environmental migrant/refugee” overlap and are equivalent, according to MECLEP (2014). Both designations also share certain aspects with the notions of “environmentally displaced people/migration influenced by environmental change”, “forced migrations”, “planned relocations” and “humanitarian crises” caused by “climate/environmental changes and natural disasters”. Basically, it can be said that all these terms fall within a spectrum, ranging from displacement where climate/environmental change (or natural disaster) weighed on the decision to move or migrate, or were even the main reason for such displacement, to situations where there has been an irreversible loss of the minimum means and conditions for subsistence, and where the permanence or return of displaced persons to their usual habitat would put them dangerously at risk of life, threatening their survival, physical and psychological well-being and fundamental human rights. In this sense, Wilkinsonal et al. (2016) define four mobility patterns that motivate displacement resulting from this type of migration: (i) people displaced by climate-related disasters who are temporarily displaced; (ii) people forced to migrate more permanently due to recurring events; (ii) people who, due to environmental degradation, choose to move and (iv) people who choose to move as an adaptation strategy, in response to environmental pressures. If we pay attention to the “9 planetary boundaries” above, the ramifications of their reach are multiple, often irreversible and threaten the survival of the human species itself (in addition to threatening, clearly, the biodiversity and the environment).

According to Shelley Wilcox (2021), the book Justice for People on the Move: Migration in Challenging Times, by author Gillian Brock (Cambridge University Press, 2019), while developing an original perspective on migration justice, which defends a robust (albeit conditional) right self-determination of states (which includes a reasonably strong right to immigration regulation, according to three legitimacy requirements/criteria[32]) and even though apparently missing an analysis on migration-related governance and climate-displaced people[33], offers a theory of migration justice that allows the exploration of implications for climate migration. In particular, Brock’s understanding of the right to self-determination includes strong obligations to assist climate refugees, providing an indirect contribution to current debates on this topic. According to Karayiğit and Kilic (2021), there is growing evidence that events related to climate change are affecting underdeveloped countries more strongly and, as such, if measures are not taken (even if taking refuge in another country is considered a last resort solution to deal with the effects of climate change), human flows to the European Union will be unavoidable. Thus, these authors argue that, given its underlying values, the EU has a crucial role in reaching a consensus to find a solution not only for this problem, but also for the recognition and legal protection of climate refugees. Research needs to be strengthened in order to raise awareness among the international community, namely supranational institutions, for the legal acceptance of this type of refugee (Berchin et al., 2017). In this sense, the good reception practices of some countries could also serve as the basis for a joint management based on a planned, integrated, harmonized and systematic response which can avoid peaks of unregulated mass migration, eventually easily exploited by populist anti-immigration movements (Carević & Novokmet, 2021).

Although more visible, the media impact of this type of migration is still sparse (and often negative). Perhaps because of this, institutional commitment has not given an echo, nor a rationale of applicability that is required given the strong challenges arising in this domain. In this sense, considering the need to reach a consensus on conceptual definitions that allows for an harmonization of the legal framework and for the de-conflictualization of social reception in the host countries, I present a proposal for a more comprehensive definition of the concept of climate refugees, which includes and takes into account simultaneously: (i) the nine planetary boundaries framework and (ii) the terms of the MECLEP glossary (2014).

  • I therefore propose the following definition for the new juridico-political category of ‘climate refugee’:

Persons or groups of people who are forced to leave their usual places of residence or who need to be relocated (to other places within or outside the same country, temporarily or permanently) due to gradual or sudden changes in their climate and their environment (such as sea level rise, ocean acidification and temperature rise, melting ice, depletion of the ozone layer, changes in land use and phosphorus and nitrogen cycles, chemical pollution, loss of biodiversity, climate change and increased atmospheric aerosol load), natural, chemical or nuclear accidents, or due other event or series of events that pose a critical threat to their health, safety, security and well-being, with large-scale effects, including: natural disasters and/or climate change of sudden onset or with repeated and aggravated effects over time, humanitarian crisis resulting from natural disasters and/or climate change, strong threat to their customary livelihoods, food insecurity and water scarcity, use of those individuals’ land or environment to implement mitigation measures, unsuitability of their country or parts of it (certain regions) for housing or to ensure adequate and minimal security and livelihoods, due to the negative effects of climate change and/or gradual or sudden changes in their environment, which adversely and decisively affect their lives, living conditions, fundamental human rights and/or livelihoods.

In this way, a comprehensive definition will consider both spatial and temporal aspects, the “9 planetary boundaries” that determine flows and displacements associated with the so-called “climate refugees” and the legal framework, within an integrated perspective including climate change and natural disasters. This broad-spectrum and comprehensive definition aims to encompass very different situations, from coastal communities and islets affected by floods to communities devastated by earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic events, affected by permafrost thaw, buffeted by floods and droughts or catastrophic forest fires, and to all those populations who see their fishing, agricultural, forestry or pastoral survival being profoundly impaired by the loss of biodiversity, climate change, chemical or nuclear contamination or other environmental catastrophes, with decisive effects on their livelihoods and possibilities of subsistence, or on their survival in the short, medium and/or long term.

Watch the following video by Berkeley’s Othering and Belonging Institute:

*Please find the portuguese translation of this post on the next page

*Para a tradução portuguesa da publicação, por favor aceda à próxima página

[1] Please click here for IOM’s Environmental Migration Portal – Knowledge Platform on People on the Move in a Changing Climate (established in 2015 within the “Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy” (MECLEP) project funded by the European Union; since the completion of the project in March 2017, the Portal’s maintenance is funded by IOM).

[2] Generally speaking, this article uses the translation “displacement”, which seems to name more literally and exactly the phenomenon mentioned, or the uprooting/relocation of a person or group of people, rather than the translation “dislocation” (more associated with the mere journey or travel, with the migratory path).

[3] Please refer, for instance, to: Repositório da Universidade de Lisboa: Deslocados climáticos e a ausência de instrumento jurídico de proteção : análise do caso prático dos pequenos Estados insulares.


[5] In Público Newspaper, 3rd of August, 2022: Cenários de catástrofe mundial climática estão a ser ignorados, avisam cientistas | Clima | PÚBLICO (

[6] Please refer to SicNotícias, 25th of July, 2022: Celebração ou tragédia em direto? – SIC Notícias ( [Opinion by João Abegão] and Science Magazine, 14th of December, 2021: The Arctic is warming four times faster than the rest of the world | Science | AAAS and also Público Newspaper, 12th of August 2022: O Árctico aqueceu quatro vezes mais depressa do que o resto do planeta nos últimos 40 anos | Alterações climáticas | PÚBLICO ( Other examples of climate change impacts recently reported on the portuguese media include: Barcos ancorados na lama, margens que se cruzam a pé, um país de barragens vazias e rios sem água: viagem a um país em seca extrema – Expresso.

[7] Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy (MECLEP), 2014, available at:, consultado a 29 de Abril de 2022.

[8] According to Milán-García et al. (2021), between 1999 and 2019, 333 international studies were carried out on the topics of climate change and migration – namely in countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and China. 

[9] Convention on the Status of Refugees 1951, available at:, accessed on the 29th of April, 2022.

[10] The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) is one of the world’s most credible sources of data and analysis on internal displacement. Since its inception in 1998 as part of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), it has provided a rigorous, independent and credible service to the international community and its work informs policy and operational decisions that improve the lives of millions of people living in internal displacement or who risk being displaced in the future. Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), available at:, acessed on the 26th of June, 2022.

[11] Think Tank – European Parliament, available at:, accessed on the 21th of June, 2022.

[12] United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, available at:, accessed on the 3rd of May, 2022.

[13] United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – also known as the Paris Agreement (2015), available at:, accessed on the 2nd of May, 2022.

[14] World Meteorological Organization, available at:, accessed on the 2nd of May, 2022.

[15] United Nations Development Program, available at:, accessed on the 2nd of May, 2022.

[16] Areas of cooperation include policy coherence, knowledge sharing, awareness raising, operations’ support, legal and regulatory guidance, support for disaster risk reduction, climate action, clean energy and environmental sustainability, with the publication of Words into Action as the most recent example.

[17] The COP27 will be held in 2022, in Egipt. 

[18] Other Important Resources: The concept of ‘climate refugee’ ( (Apap and Revel – EPRS  European Parliamentary Research Service, 2021) and also PACE – Resolution 2307 (2019) – A legal status for “climate refugees” (; and analyse_12_englisch_climate_refugees.pdf (

[19] Beyond the European Union, Brazil’s Migration Law 2017 (No. 13445) predicts temporary visas for the humanitarian reception of people displaced due to natural and environmental disasters. Also Australia’s Seasonal Workers Program (SWP) and the complementary Pacific Labor Mobility Scheme take advantage of labor mobility agreements to support migrants from areas affected by climate change and natural or environmental disasters.

[20] Kraler et al. (2020). Climate Change and Migration. Legal and Policy Challenges and Responses to Environmentally Induced Migration, July 2020: 76. Study commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, European Parliament: Brussels. Available at: Climate Change and Migration. Legal and policy challenges and responses to environmentally induced migration ( , accessed on the 27th of April, 2022.

[21] According to the conclusions of the studies by Kraler et al. (2020) and by the EMN – European Migration Network (2020).

[22] Please refer to: Goulet, Denis. “Development Ethics at Work”, Routledge, 2006. And also to: Père Lebret, un dominicain au service de l’économie humaine –

[23]  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an intergovernmental body of the United Nations based in Geneva, Switzerland which includes 195 member states. It is responsible for advancing knowledge about human-induced climate change. It was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and it was later endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly.

[24] Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, an intergovernmental organization created in 2012, comprising 140 member states at the time (membership continued to grow and all UN member states are eligible), along with several observer organizations, based in Bonn, Germany. Its aim is to improve the interface between science and policy on biodiversity issues and ecosystem services. In June 2021, the IPBES and IPCC released a co-sponsored workshop report on biodiversity and climate change: this workshop produced a summary report covering the results, along with a 250-page scientific results report.

[25] João Abegão – The Limits of Sustainability – TEDx Talk, available at:

[26] Please refer to: The nine planetary boundaries – Stockholm Resilience CentreReflections on the Planetary Boundaries framework – Stockholm Resilience Centre and: Ten years of nine planetary boundaries – Stockholm Resilience Centre. Also to: Status of the nine planetary boundaries — European Environment Agency (

[27] In DN, Última Hora, on the 26th of January, 2022. Available at:

[28] Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development.

[29], accessed on the 8th of April, 2022.

[30] Those signatories of The Climate Charter and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations are committed to: 1. Intensifying their response to growing humanitarian needs and helping people adapt to the impacts of climate and environmental crises; 2. Maximize the environmental sustainability of their work and quickly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions; 3. Embrace the leadership of local actors and communities; 4. Increase their ability to understand climate and environmental risks and develop evidence-based solutions; 5. Work collaboratively across the humanitarian sector and beyond to strengthen climate and environmental action; 6. Use their influence to mobilize urgent and more ambitious climate action and environmental protection; 7. Develop goals and measure their progress as they implement these commitments. Signatories available here:, accessed on the 2nd of May, 2022.

[31] Laudato Si’ Objectives – Action Platform Laudato Si’, available at:, accessed on the 29th of April, 2022.

[32] Sustaining a justified system of states, which includes helping to alleviate “legitimacy gaps”, including significant human rights violations in other states.

[33] And even if some authors insist that climate migrants should not be considered refugees because they would not fit the standard definition of refugees. For a differentiation between the two discourses, please refer to: (13) (PDF) Managing Climate Insecurity by Ensuring Continuous Capital Accumulation: ‘Climate Refugees’ and ‘Climate Migrants’ (

[34] Events – DIRAJ

Climate Refugees & Climate Displacement  Research Platforms & Advisory Groups:

European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS)

European Parliamentary Research Service (

The concept of ‘climate refugee’ (  (Apap and Revel, 2021)

The legal status of climate refugees: PACE – Resolution 2307 (2019) – A legal status for “climate refugees” (

EESC Climate refugees account for more than a half of all migrants but enjoy little protection | European Economic and Social Committee (

MPG – MIGPOL Group Brussels

Migration Policy Group (

CES: Exodus Institute Partnership | CES at UNC

European Greens: Greens EFA – Position Paper – Climate Change Refugees and Migration.pdf (

FFVT: Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer – Germany

FFVT is jointly run by the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), the Centre for Human Rights Erlangen-Nürnberg (CHREN, University of Erlangen Nuremberg), the German Development Institute (DIE, Bonn) and the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS, University of Osnabrück).

Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer – Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer – FFVT

Migration Research Hub – Climate Refugees

Research Database (

The IKETIS Project – Brighton University

IKETIS: The mediation of climate change induced migration (

Brot für die Welt – Germany

Brot für die Welt | Brot für die Welt (

analyse_12_englisch_climate_refugees.pdf (

Environmental Justice Foundation – London

Environmental Justice Foundation | Homepage (

EJF_Climate-Refugee-Report_2021_final.pdf (

University of Oxford – Refugee Studies Centre – Environmentally Displaced People

Environmentally Displaced People — Refugee Studies Centre (

Research — Refugee Studies Centre (

Includes Refugee-Led Research Hub: Refugee-Led Research Hub — Refugee Studies Centre (  

About us — Refugee Studies Centre (   (A world-class centre for the study of forced migration and refugees has been created at the University of Oxford)

Please Check: Refugees, Migration and Climate change | Nina Hall ; Stephen Castles (

Also: Climate Refugees and Security: Conceptualizations, Categories, and Contestations – Oxford Handbooks


Climate Migrants – COMPAS (

Research – COMPAS (

IMISCOE – Resoma


The MPI – Migration Policy Institute – Washington

Climate Change |

Article: ‘Migrants’? ‘Refugees’? Terminology.. |

Race to Zero – UNFCCC

Climate refugees – the world’s forgotten victims – Climate Champions (

Refugees International

Calling for Climate Action on Human Mobility — Refugees International

The Univ. of Auckland – New Zealand

Refugee research centre focused on impact in Pacific and Asia – The University of Auckland

The Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies – Tāwharau Whakaumu – The University of Auckland

Current Research Includes (among other topics):

– International Climate Migration and Climatic Poverty  

– Developing a Guiding Framework for Engaging Pacific Populations in Disaster Risk

– Building a Responsive Research Infrastructure for Climate and Conflict Induced Displacement in the Asia Pacific

– Climate-Induced Migration: Global Scope, Regional Impacts and National Policy Frameworks

The Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility – NY

Climate-Induced Migration Projects: Climate-Induced Migration Hub – Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility

Norwegian Institute of International Affairs – NUPI

Fragile states and violent entrepreneurs: conflict, climate, refugees – Research project | NUPI

Berkeley/California – Othering & Belonging Institute

Climate Refugees: Climate Refugees | Othering & Belonging Institute (

Othering & Belonging Institute
University of California, Berkeley
460 Stephens Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-2330
(510) 642-3326

Cornell Univ Research NY – Climate Refugees

Migration, Forced by Climate Change | Cornell Research

IES Migrations Series | Einaudi Center (

Univ Copenhagen – Nordic Network on Climate Related Displacement and Mobility

Nordic Network on Climate Related Displacement and Mobility – University of Copenhagen (

The Max Planck Society 

More climate refugees from Middle East and North Africa | Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Migration — Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (

Migration Policy Centre / Robert Schuman Centre

Migration Policy Centre – MPC –

Raoul Wallenberg Institute – Sweden

People on the Move – The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (

Climate change, disasters and internal displacement in Asia and the Pacific: A human rights-based approach – The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (

ClimMobil: Judicial and policy responses to climate change-related mobility in the European Union with a focus on Austria and Sweden – The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (

Reforming the Refugee Regime – The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (

SEI – Stockholm Environment Institute

Stockholm Environment Institute: bridging science and policy (

Stockholm Resilience Centre

University of East London – Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging

Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging | University of East London (

York University Centre for Refugee Studies

Centre for Refugee Studies – Centre for Refugee Studies (

Projects: Projects – Centre for Refugee Studies (

Refugee Law Lab: Refugee Law Lab – (

Resource Centre: Resource Centre – Centre for Refugee Studies (

Univ Manchester – Migration, Refugees and Asylum

Migration, refugees and asylum – Global Development Institute – The University of Manchester

CERC in Migration and Integration – Toronto Metropolitan University

The Governance of Migration in a Globalising World – Cerc in Migration and Integration – Ryerson University

CIFE – Centre International de Formation Europeéne – LUISS School of Government – Nice, France

Institut européen | CIFE (

Microsoft Word – Allyson Hamzey, Thesis, July 30, 2021-3.docx (

Platform on Disaster and Displacement

State-led initiative working towards better protection for people displaced across borders in the context of disasters & climate change. Led by the EU & Kenya:

PRIO – Peace Research Centre Oslo – Migration Research Group

Migration – Peace Research Institute Oslo (

Humanitarianism, Borders, and the Governance of Mobility: The EU and the ‘Refugee Crisis’ – Peace Research Institute Oslo (

MIGNEX – Aligning Migration Management and the Migration-Development Nexus – Peace Research Institute Oslo (

Institut Montaigne – Paris

Climate Refugees: Do Not Hype Up The Problem | Institut Montaigne

Edge Effects is a digital magazine – Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE), a research center within the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison:

How Climate Refugees Are Shaping Movements and Walls – Edge Effects

ACME Journal

Migration and Climate Change in the Local Context of Sardinia, Italy

On the Frontlines of Fear | ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies (

Center for Migration Studies (CMS) NY

Climate-Induced Migration – The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) (

Univ of Sidney The Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law 

Climate change, disasters and displacement | Kaldor Centre (

The Mirekoc – Migration Research Center at Koç University (MiReKoc) Turkey

Current Projects | Mirekoc I Migration Research Center (

Universidade de Navarra – Global Affairs

. Global Affairs and Strategic Studies. Facultad de Derecho (

Universidade de Almería, Spain

Grupo de Investigación RNM933 – Sosteniblidad, Resiliencia Y Gobernanza De Sistemas Socio-Ecológicos:

RNM933 – Sociecos – Grupo de Investigación – Universidad de Almería (

SEJ579 – Earn – Grupo de Investigación – Universidad de Almería (

SEJ259 – D. Humanos-Libertad Religiosa – Grupo de Investigación – Universidad de Almería (

World Economic Forum

Climate refugees – the world’s forgotten victims | World Economic Forum (

United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Society

5 facts on climate migrants – Institute for Environment and Human Security (

The World Bank

Groundswell: Acting on Internal Climate Migration (

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Addressing Climate Change and Migration in Asia and the Pacific (

Princeton School of Global and International Affairs

Migration, Refugees | Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

The CMI – Michelsen Institute Norway

Facing climate change: Developing new policies and aid interventions for climate refugees (

Earth System Governance Stockholm

New Directions (

Research Centre Stockholm – transition to Stockholm University (

MIDEX Lancashire

Research Centre for Migration, Diaspora and Exile (MIDEX) – UCLan

Uni Vermont

Smith Professor to Speak at UVM on Climate Change and Migration as a Security Issue

Pew Research Centre – Washington, DC

Refugee crises, climate change are top risks in next 10 years, experts say | Pew Research Center


Microsoft Word – Piguetfinal170108Rev1.doc (

Environmental explanations of migration: whose agenda (

CWS – Church World Service

Moving Towards Resilience: A Study of Climate Change, Adaption and Migration – CWS (

CSIS – Washington, DC

A New Framework for U.S. Leadership on Climate Migration | Center for Strategic and International Studies (

Wilson Centre – Washington, DC

Climate-Induced Displacement: South Asia’s Clear and Present Danger | Wilson Center

Climate Migrants Can’t Wait for Global Frameworks | Wilson Quarterly

University of Washington – College of Environment/EarthLab

Climate-Related Migration to the Pacific Northwest (

The Columbia Law School NY

Microsoft Word – FMAs & Climate-Induced Migration AFrancis.docx (

Center for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD) – Bangladesh

Ongoing Research – Center for Participatory Research and Development (

OCHA Services

‘Migrants’? ‘Refugees’? Terminology Is Contested, Powerful, and Evolving – World | ReliefWeb


All Pages (


Climate change and forced migration: Observations, projections and implications (

Woodwell Climate Research Centre, MA – USA

About – Woodwell Climate 

The Sasakawa Peace Foundation

20200526071205772.pdf (

Advocacy Groups/Civil Society Groups

Urban Institute

Who Are America’s “Climate Migrants,” and Where Will They Go? | Urban Institute


Extreme weather exiles: how climate change is turning Europeans into migrants | Euronews

Plataforma de Desplazamientos y Migraciones Climáticas – Madrid

Migraciones Climáticas – El impacto más grave de la emergencia climática (

The Brookings Institution – Washington, DC

The climate crisis, migration, and refugees (

Climate Refugees – NY

Spotlight — Climate Refugees (

CCPA Canada

| Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Protect Climate Refugees – UK

Protect Climate Refugees – Campaign to create legal protections for those displaced by the climate emergency (

Mr Bear, Polar – Finland’s Furriest Climate Refugee

Mr. Bear, Polar – Finland’s Furriest Climate Refugee (


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