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Vulnerability and climate change induced human displacement

Source(s):  Columbia University

This paper addresses the relationship between vulnerability and climate change induced human population displacement. It finds that the people displaced by the effects of climate change are often the most vulnerable and also suffer a legal protection gap. 

The paper analyzes three case studies including hurricane-induced displacement in the U.S. Gulf Coast, cyclone induced displacement in Bangladesh, and drought-induced displacement in Somalia.

The study finds that for policy to effectively address environmental displacement, it must address the preexisting conditions of inequality that make people vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Policy solutions should be holistic rather than focused on particular drivers of movement and should be guided by the principles of ‘human rights’ and ‘dignity’ to raise the resilience of vulnerable communities. 

Policy aimed at closing the legal protection gap for environmentally displaced persons needs to address the socioeconomic inequalities that make marginalized groups vulnerable to climate change. 

Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development Vol. 17, Iss. 1 (2017), pp. 103–142



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  • Vulnerability and climate change induced human displacement
  • Publication date 2017
  • Author(s) Shweta Jayawardhan
  • Number of pages pp. 103-142

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