The law on climate-related migration and displacement is notable for its paucity. Despite the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) early and repeated statements regarding climate-change impacts on human migration, once qualifying it as the ‘greatest single impact of climate change’, the last quarter century of climate-change law- and policy-making has not fostered robust governance of the emerging phenomenon. In fact, it was not until two decades after the IPCC’s initial statement that the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change addressed this kind of migration formally in its Cancún Decision. While most of the climate-induced migration and displacement forecasted will spur internal displacement, cross-border migration presents some of the most confounding challenges for migration and displacement management. This chapter presents the international law related to cross-border migration—and to a lesser extent internal displacement—as it currently stands.
Rosemary Lyster and Maxine Burkett
This chapter considers climate-induced migration and displacement following climate disasters. It focuses on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation; relocation and resettlement in the event of displacement; and financing, compensation, and risk transfer. It also highlights three major new initiatives which are likely to better protect the rights of climate-displaced persons, including: the new synergies between the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, and the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals; the 2016 Task Force on Displacement under Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage; and the proposed 2018 UN Global compact for safe and orderly and regular migration.