Why creating a new legal class of ‘climate refugees’ is a bad idea

It is imperative that the international community focus on tempering the negative consequences of climate change and developing adaption measures, so that people in the affected areas do not find themselves displaced from their homes and may build their livelihoods.

Calls for developed countries to prepare for the arrival of ‘climate refugees’ and to expand the UN Refugee Convention accordingly are uninformed and, worse, counter-productive.

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its sixth assessment report in March 2023, global attention has turned, even more strongly than before, to the effects of climate change on humanity. The possibility of mass migration towards the so-called Global North is increasingly being mentioned as a consequence of drought, floods and natural degradation stemming from climate change.

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