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This chapter investigates the future of forced climate migrants’ law, whose embryos are already in place: the progress made under the UNFCCC, the adoption of the Refugees and Migration Compacts, as well as the success of dedicated intergovernmental initiatives in the last years go in this direction. From 2010 and COP16, the UNFCCC started explicitly addressing climate-related migration, and in 2018 COP24 endorsed the UNFCCC’s Task Force on Displacement recommendations. In the same period, the UNGA passed the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration. Whereas the first adopts a soft approach toward climate-related refugee movements, the second comprehensively includes climate change as a driver of human migration. Altogether, these instruments represent the “embryo” of what might become in the future a dedicated legal system for forced climate migrants. This chapter examines these trends addressing how they may fit in a systemic evolution of international law to provide responses to the problem of climate-related migration.
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UNFCCC, Cancun Adaptation Framework (2011), Decision 1/CP.16, UN Doc. FCCC/CP/2010/7/Add.1, Article 14, letter f.
Martin (2017). Toward an Extension of Complementary Protection? In Mayer & Crépeau (Eds.), Research Handbook on Climate Change, Migration and the Law. Cheltenham: Elgar, p. 454.
Atapattu (2018). A New Category of Refugees? “Climate Refugees” and Gaping Hole in International Law. In Behrman & Kent (Eds.), “Climate Refugees” Beyond the Legal Impasse? New York: Routledge, p. 48.
Decision 1/CP.21, Adoption of the Paris Agreement, UN Doc. FCCC/CP/2015/10/Add.1, para. 49.
UNFCCC COP 22, Marrakech (2017), Report of the Conference of the Parties on its twenty-second session, Decision 3/CP.22, Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts, para. 9.
Report of the Task Force on Displacement (TFD Report), Advanced unedited version of 17 September 2018. https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/2018_TFD_report_17_Sep.pdf. Accessed 14 March 2020, para. 61, letter d.
Ibid., para. 61, letters b and d.
UNFCCC COP 24, Katowice (2018), Report of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts, Decision -/CP.24.
Ibid., Annex “Recommendations from the report of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts on integrated approaches to averting, minimizing and addressing displacement related to the adverse impacts of climate change”, para. 1, letters g and i.
Ibid., para. 1, letters h (iii) and d.
Traore Chazalnoel & Ionesco (2018), Advancing the Global Governance of Climate Migration Through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Global Compact on Migration. Perspectives from the International Organization for Migration. In Behrman & Kent (Eds.) (2018). “Climate Refugees” Beyond the Legal Impasse? New York: Routledge, pp. 103 and 104.
UN General Assembly Resolution (2016). New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, UN Doc. A/RES/71/1, para. 43.
Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), UN Doc. A/RES/73/195, Preamble, para 11.
Ibid., para. 18 letters h - l.
Ibid., para. 18, letter h.
Ibid., para. 21, letter h.
GCM, Objective 5.
TFD Report (op. cit.), para. 1, letter g (vi).
Platform on Disaster Displacement (2018). In Behrman & Kent (Eds.), “Climate Refugees” Beyond the Legal Impasse? New York: Routledge, pp. 139 and 140.
TFD Report (op. cit.), para. 65.
Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), General Assembly Official Records Seventy-Third Session Supplement No. 12 (A/73/12 [Part II]), para. 8.
Ibid., para. 61.
Ibid., para 63.
- The Role of the UNFCCC and of the Global Compacts for Refugees and Migration
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