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The Concept of Climate Migration

Advocacy and its Prospects

Benoît Mayer

This timely book offers a unique interdisciplinary inquiry into the prospects of different political narratives on climate migration. It identifies the essential angles on climate migration – the humanitarian narrative, the migration narrative and the climate change narrative – and assesses their prospects. The author contends that although such arguments will influence global governance, they will not necessarily achieve what advocates hope for. He discusses how the weaknesses of the concept of “climate migration” are likely to be utilized in favour of repressive policies against migration or for the defence of industrial nations against perceived threats from the Third World.
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Chapter 4: The responsibility narrative – anthropogenic climate change, migration as injury, and interference in place of reparation

Benoît Mayer

Extract

Migration has recently entered the negotiations on climate change as either a form of adaptation or a category of loss and damage, but few concrete steps have yet been proposed. A normative argument based on the law of state responsibility or on a certain interpretation of the principle of common but differentiated responsibility calls for states emitting excessive quantities of greenhouse gas to mitigate climate change and to compensate the states most affected by its impacts. However, industrial states are likely to elude this argument, opting instead for a self-serving climate regime, in particular by pushing developing states to further contribute in the containment of international migration in the South.

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