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Beyond burdens and climate refugees: a stocktake of international responsibility-sharing and South Pacific climate-induced migration

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thesis
posted on 06.04.2021, 21:44 by Daisy McElwain

This paper provides a ‘stocktake’ of common responsibility-sharing principles and goals in international agreements on climate change and refugees/migration to date and investigates how these principles might inform an Oceania agreement to deal with the emerging issue of South Pacific climate-induced migration. Where international agreements on climate change and refugees/migration overlap I identify a set of responsibility-sharing principles and goals and investigate their compatibility with the needs and demands of Pacific communities facing the prospect of climate-induced displacement. In this paper, I tap into ongoing political and academic debates concerning if and how we ought to differentiate states’ environmental responsibilities. I ask whose responsibility is it to address climate-induced migration? And what exactly are they responsible for? I find that international agreements on climate change and refugees/migration sufficiently overlap with the needs of Pacific communities to provide us with five common responsibility-sharing principles and goals that are potentially useful in the South Pacific climate migration context: the ability to pay principle, polluter pays principle, prevention, emissions reduction and (funding) adaptation. Notwithstanding responsibility-sharing’s negotiation difficulties, these responsibility-sharing principles have significant congruence with Pacific communities’ needs and demands, and thus provide us with a valuable starting point for an Oceania agreement on climate-induced migration that is informed first and foremost by the needs of those who may have to leave their homes.

History

Advisor 1

McMillan, Kate

Copyright Date

01/04/2021

Date of Award

01/04/2021

Publisher

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

International Relations

Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Level

Masters

Degree Name

Master of International Relations

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 PURE BASIC RESEARCH

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis

Language

en_NZ

Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations