Environment & Biodiversity

Climate justice entails wealthy countries assisting migrants

According to UNHCR predictions, 23.7 million new internally displaced persons—those affected by natural disasters—emerged globally in 2021, with the highest numbers occurring in China, the Philippines, and India.


  • As a result of the growing frequency of climate disasters, individuals are becoming “climate refugees,” or moving from one location to another. Examples of these refugees come from South Asia and the US.
  • The issue becomes more serious when individuals move across borders as a result of climate change, as their entire nation is predicted to be buried in the sea due to rising sea levels.
  • The protection gap refers to this. Since there are no legal protections for climate refugees, this will pose a humanitarian dilemma.

Current laws

  • Only political refugees are covered by the Geneva Convention on Refugees; climatic refugees are not.
  • The Nansen Initiative is a framework that is optional and non-binding. Although some states have approved it, it only applies to cross-border movements related to disasters. The displacement brought on by global warming is excluded.

Concerns for climate refugees

  • When transferring to another country, climate refugees will have difficulties with border crossing, security, healthcare, and other necessities.
  • In addition, the nations where they are relocating have their own issues, making it challenging for those nations to care for the refugees.
  • Due to extreme poverty, a disability, gender, cultural standards, etc., some people won’t be able to move. Because they will be the most impacted by climate change and will be stranded there, there is a need for the entire globe to pay attention to this issue.

Who will bear the cost of climate change?

  • Because industrialised nations and fossil fuel producers produce the most emissions, they have a greater obligation to assist climate refugees. One effort to deal with the problem is the loss and damage mechanism adopted at CoP 27.
  • As a result, individuals who caused the issue should pay reparations and contribute to a fund to aid climate refugees, and a global framework is required to safeguard them.
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