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Climate Refugees Study

Against the background of climate change, the study of environmentally induced displacement has become increasingly significant.

Objectives
• to provide a systematic review of the legal aspects of climate related displacement.
• to analyse to what extent the current EU framework for immigration and asulum in general and the specific instruments in regard to asylum in particular already offer adequate responses to climate induced displacement.
• to assess how the legal framework could evolve in order to provide an improved response to the phenomenon of climate refugees.
• to clarify in which way such a modified legal framework can be rooted in the Lisbon Treaty.

Outcomes
The analysis reviews both the status quo as well as the possible evolution of the policy framework in place in order to arrive at more comprehensive responses to environmentally induced migration, while establishing the possible legal bases of different types of responses within the Treaty of Lisbon.
• The first part of the study aims to develop a typology of environmentally induced migration which serves as a basis for identifying adequate policy responses, and in particular for different forms and dimensions of this phenomenon.
• The second part focuses on a revision of the global debates on policy responses to environmentally induced displacement, which embeds the analysis of the European policy context in wider global policy debates and provides the framework under which the European policy framework is analysed.
• The third and core part of the study looks at the policy framework in place at the level of the European Union to identify possible policy responses under the current EU policy framework that would address environmentally induced displacement as well as gaps and possible directions how this framework can evolve.

Project duration: 2011-2011
Funding: European Parliament
Project coordination and implementation: ICMPD
Contact: Albert Kraler

Publications

Final Report
"'Climate Refugees'. Legal and policy responses to environmentally induced migration".

Abstract:
This study sets out to examine the legal and policy aspects of climate and environmental related displacement. It assesses to what extent the current EU framework for immigration and asylum in general and the specific instruments in regard to asylum in particular already offer adequate response to climate induced displacement and how the legal framework could evolve in order to provide an improved response to the phenomenon of environmentally induced migration. The study also clarifies in which way such a modified legal framework can be rooted in the Lisbon Treaty including the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
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Policy Briefs
Albert Kraler, Tatiana Cernei, Marion Noack (2012): "Climate Change and Migration: What is the Role for Migration Policies?".

The policy brief provides an overview of the current EU and national-level instruments applied to climate- and environment-related displacement, as well as an in-depth discussion of the study's findings and policy recommendations.
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