Loooking up at pine trees with blue sky showing through

What is our responsibility to climate refugees?

8th December 2020

In November 2017, New Zealand’s climate change minister proposed a ‘special’ refugee visa for Pacific Islanders who have been displaced due to climate change – so we ask what is our responsibility to climate refugees?

This special visa is deemed separate from the 1951 UN Refugee Convention as this status is only applicable to those fleeing persecution, wars, and conflicts, and not climate change.

This step is the first of its kind, officially recognizing that climate refugees need to be protected from environmental factors which make their homes uninhabitable.

In the International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management (the first subscription based Emerald journal to flip to Open Access) the special issue Climate change, migration and displacement of populations explores the “interconnectedness of the various drivers of migration, and the complex interactions of climate change with those drivers.” The below infographic visually represents one paper from this special issue.

Climate change infographic preview

How big is the problem of climate change?

We've created an infographic based on the content of a paper Who takes responsibility for the climate refugees, by Bayes Ahmed (Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, Department of Earth Sciences, University College London, London, UK, and Department of Disaster Science and Management, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh).