Refugees from Climate Change



We have begun to see the future with respect to refugee claims based on climate change.

A court in New Zealand has decided that a family from Tuvalu may be granted temporary residency. Stephen Scharper writes that, “While the ruling rested on humanitarian grounds, the Tuvalu family allegedly constitutes the first successful application for residency based in part on climate change.”

In prophetic words, Scharper also writes that, ” If climate change continues to be an acceptable reason for refugee claims under international law, those nations denying or irresponsibly contributing to climate change might find themselves outside the law.

Scharper’s column on refugees and climate change is found on the Toronto Star website at:

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