Redefining the term Climate Refugees

  • Ashis Swayamprakash National Law University, Odisha
  • Srutee Priydarshini National Law University, Odisha
Keywords: Environmental service, Polluter Pays Principle, Market Based Instruments, Command and Control


Natural disasters, like cyclones, leave countless people homeless especially in tiny island nations. As more and more people are being forced out of their habitat the concept of environmentally displaced people comes to light. Scholars predict by the year 2050, the number of people coming under that umbrella could increase from 20 million to 200 million. Those numbers look threatening and they are as this happens to be a substantially big population and displacement of that magnitude could lead to international migration induced by climate change. Thus, giving rise to the concept of “Climate refugee”. Refugees have been defined by the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees which happens to be a political definition. Some authors say that recognition of people displaced due to climate change as “refugees” will be a solution as this will help them find asylum, but it is highly disputed due to several reasons. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the proposed solution of defining “climate refugees”. The most serious argument is the problems associated with the eventual broadening of the meaning of legal terms. A process that could easily lead to the potential protection of all-and-no individual(s) in need of protection. The goal is to address the need of dispensing justice to the displaced people to help them “survive”. As well as formulating policy frameworks for a more sustainable global setup for a long-term solution.

How to Cite
Swayamprakash, A., & Priydarshini, S. (2021). Redefining the term Climate Refugees. GLS Law Journal , 2(2), 42-53. Retrieved from