Adaptation Climate Change Migration

Climate Change and Human Migration: A Tenuous Relationship (G. Kibreab)




Gaim Kibreab


Climate change, human migration, adaptation, environmental refugees


After discussing the manner in which climate change may contribute to human migration and the uncertainties inherent in the current predictions concerning the social effects of climate change, as well as the possible adaptive responses of people inhabiting the affected areas, the article critically analyses firstly, the debate on ‘environmental refugees;’ secondly, the existing estimates of the numbers allegedly displaced by climate change; and thirdly, the debate on whether those displaced by climate change should be accorded rights and protection similar to those available for persons who flee due to ‘well-founded fear of persecution’–refugees. The points of departure of the article are firstly, it is impossible to isolate climate change as a cause of migration as this is to a large extent a function of mitigation and effectiveness of adaptation. Secondly, displacements triggered by a combination of climate change and other factors are likely to be internal and short-term rather than external and permanent.


(2009) 20 Fordham Environmental Law Review 357


Climate Change and Human Migration: A Tenuous Relationship

Anna Grear

By Anna Grear

Anna’s work focuses largely upon questions related to law’s construction of the human being and the human relationship with the world, broadly conceived. Her scholarship calls on insights from a range of disciplines despite being firmly located within a combination of critical legal theory and jurisprudence. She has a particular interest in the themes of legal subjectivity and vulnerability, locating these themes in relation to contemporary globalisation and to a central concern with the implications of the materiality of the living order – including the theme of embodiment. Her monograph on international human rights, published in 2010, was described as ‘marking a new start towards understanding the ontology of human rights.’

Anna was nominated for the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Scholarship Prize 2012 and shortlisted for the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Senior Scholar Prize in 2018. She was Dahrendorf Visiting Fellow 2013 at the Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics. She is a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Theme 3: Challenges of Social Inclusion. Anna is also Invited Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Law and Theory, University of Westminster, UK; Visiting Research Fellow at Bristol Law School, UK and a Global Affiliate of the Vulnerability and Human Condition Initiative at Emory University, USA. She has held visiting positions at the University of Oxford, the University of Keele, the University of Waikato and at Emory University.

Anna’s publications list can be viewed at her Google Scholar profile page.