Emory International Law Review


Danna Yu


With sea levels rising and large-scale natural disasters becoming more frequent because of climate change, there is an increasing number of people who have been or will inevitably displaced out of their country of origin. The current international definition of “refugee” and its application in New Zealand with the Teitiota family case prevent people fleeing their home countries due to the effects of climate change from availing themselves of protections given to traditional “refugees,” though there have been regional expansions of the traditional definition. Recently, there has been movement in the global community via the Refugee Compact and the Migrant Compact to broaden those protections, but this Comment postulates that those protections are not sufficient enough to address the issues faced by climate change displaced persons. Instead, this Comment suggests that regional agreements, drawing on precedents set by the Nansen Initiative, are the better method to use in discovering solutions for climate change displaced persons since climate change displaced persons tend to remain in their own regions and key players are more likely to enter into regional agreements.