Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Climate Change Refugees

Friday I attended the afternoon session of the UGA International Human Rights & Climate Change conference.  The conference was cut short by Athens' own version of Snowmaggedon (which mostly melted by noon the next day).  However, before the white stuff started really falling, Professor John Knox of Wake Forest Law gave an interesting talk on climate change refugees, who are not (under international conventions) really refugees at all, but environmental migrants.  Refugees are those fleeing persecution, rather than natural (or human caused) disaster. Professor Knox suggested some options for dealing with migration issues related to climate change, including the negotiation of a new convention.  For land use fans, Professor Knox's most interesting work has been on preserving the rights of peoples who could be totally displaced by climate change in the Maldives and Bangladesh.  See the Center for International Environmental Law's website on these issues here.

Jamie Baker Roskie

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