University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series
Last Updated: 3 December 2010
An Insecure Climate for Human Security? Climate-Induced Displacement and International Law
Jane McAdam, University of New South Wales
Ben Saul, University of Sydney
This paper is available for download at http://law.bepress.com/unswwps/flrps10/art59/
This paper was published in HUMAN SECURITY & NON-CITIZENS, A. Edwards & C. Ferstman, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2009. Sydney Centre for International Law Working Paper No. 4.
This paper first outlines the phenomenon of climate-induced displacement, with a focus on displacement from small island States (particularly in the Pacific), on which the impacts of climate change are well documented and keenly felt (although the challenges manifested there have parallels in vastly different contexts). The paper next reviews how existing international law applies to those displaced or at risk of displacement from the effects of climate change. Having identified the limitations of existing international law in responding to the needs of those displaced by climate change, this paper then focuses on whether the emerging concepts of 'human security' and the 'responsibility to protect' could provide useful frameworks for identifying and analyzing the rights and interests at risk and for crafting responses to those risks.