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Environmental Refugees
Wolf Productions
Druk vanaf
100 pp.
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Environmental Refugees

a Legal Perspective

Climate change is primarily associated with its physical outcomes like extreme weather events, rising sea levels and desertification. However, these climatic impacts do not only pose a threat to the environment, natural habitat and biodiversity but also to society.

Environmental migration as one social aftermath of climate change is the subject of this analysis. The emergence of environmental refugees is heatedly debated in the media, among policymakers and in academic writing of various disciplines. The author of this thesis seeks to take that debate seriously. She does not put the existence of environmental refugees a priori to her analysis, but scrutinizes the different notions critically.

The thesis provides a legal analysis of the current situation of environmental refugees embedded in international environmental and international humanitarian law. The work further combines international environmental law with political aspects and aspects of legal philosophy. The actual political treatment of environmental refugees on EU-level through the EU-agency Frontex is presented as well as ethical considerations concerning the responsibility for climate change are made.

The author arrives at the conclusion that in a globalized world the facts have mingled. The duties and responsibilities in international law are growing stronger as the world grows together. However, the different bodies of international law need to adjust to this new reality still, until now they stand relatively isolated side by side.

Silke Marie Christiansen completed her legal studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin before she attended the masters program in environmental law at the University of Lüneburg. The thesis was submitted as her master thesis. She won a sponsorship award from the Sponsoring Association to the Masters Degree Program of Environmental Law at the University of Lüneburg (VMU) for this work. Currently she holds a scholarship from the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt to write her doctoral thesis in international environmental law.

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