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Climate Change and State Responsibility - Migration as a Remedy?

Goral, Lana LU (2014) LAGM01 20142
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Konsekvenserna av klimatförändringarna blir allt tydligare och det finns en bred enighet om att det kommer att påverka små östater i en så stor utsträckning att det kan tvinga hela befolkningar att migrera. Då frågan om klimatbetingad migration till stor är del oreglerad, syftar denna uppsats till att undersöka om stater skulle kunna utkräva statsansvar för bristande åtgärder för att bromsa växthuseffekten, om ett migrationsprogram skulle kunna beviljas som en form av åtgärd, samt om en stat praktiskt skulle kunna utkräva sådant ansvar.
Republiken Kiribati, en utvecklingsstat vilken utgörs av ett antal öar i Stilla havet, används i uppsatsen som fallstudie i bedömningen. De typografiska förhållandena gör staten särskilt utsatt för... (More)
Konsekvenserna av klimatförändringarna blir allt tydligare och det finns en bred enighet om att det kommer att påverka små östater i en så stor utsträckning att det kan tvinga hela befolkningar att migrera. Då frågan om klimatbetingad migration till stor är del oreglerad, syftar denna uppsats till att undersöka om stater skulle kunna utkräva statsansvar för bristande åtgärder för att bromsa växthuseffekten, om ett migrationsprogram skulle kunna beviljas som en form av åtgärd, samt om en stat praktiskt skulle kunna utkräva sådant ansvar.
Republiken Kiribati, en utvecklingsstat vilken utgörs av ett antal öar i Stilla havet, används i uppsatsen som fallstudie i bedömningen. De typografiska förhållandena gör staten särskilt utsatt för klimatförändringar. I takt med att anpassningsåtgärder, både på internationell och nationell nivå, kritiseras för bristande finansiering och för deras ineffektivitet, är det möjligt att de inte räcker för att mildra effekterna av en ökad havsnivå till följd av klimatförändringar, något som Kiribatis regering har förutsett, vilket har lett till att staten förbereder sig på en total omlokalisering av befolkningen.
Doktrin har föreslagit ett flertal olika förslag på hur klimatbetingad migration kan regleras och ett flertal olika lösningar finns för att förbättra skyddet för denna kategori av migranter. Var förslag står inför ett flertal svåra utmaningar och för närvarande finns det ingen lösning på denna alltmer överhängande fråga. Att fastslå statsansvar för växthusgasutsläpp och kräva skydd för migranter som en åtgärd skulle därmed kunna vara en potentiell lösning på bristen på skydd för klimatbetingad migration.
Fallet Kiribati är baserad på två yrkanden. För det första, yrkar staten på ersättning för anpassningsåtgärder till följd av den stigande havsnivån. För det andra, som en följd av att behöva förflytta hela sin befolkning, eftersträvar staten ett migrationsprogram. De internationella förpliktelser som undersökts består i FN: s ramkonvention om klimatförändringar (UNFCCC) och det tillhörande Kyotoprotokollet, liksom, internationell sedvanerätt i form av no-harm principen.
För att fastställa statsansvar måste överträdelsen hänföras till staten. I förevarande fall kan det bestå i att stater har en skyldighet att se till att deras internationella åtaganden följs, och att de därmed har förpliktelser gällande nationella utsläppsmål.
Vidare, måste en överträdelse av primärreglerna kunna fastställas. Då klimatförändringen är en konsekvenser av ett flertal staters kumulativa handlingar är fastställandet av en sådan överträdelse problematisk. I denna utredning har ett flertal stater undersöks och de mest lämpliga svaranden utgörs av de stater som antingen inte har ratificerat Kyotoprotokollet, och kan hållas ansvariga för att ha brustit mot sina UNFCCC åtaganden, eller de som inte uppfyllt sina QUELRO s och därmed agerat i strid med Kyotoprotokollet, eller under no-harm regeln.
Vidare, för att yrka på åtgärder, måste det finnas ett kausalitetssamband mellan skadan och den yrkade åtgärden. Doktrin föreslår ett flertal olika metoder för hur kausalitet bör fastställas. De specifika egenskaperna av klimatförändringarna kräver ett tillvägagångssätt där orsakskedjan bygger på ländernas bidrag till de negativa effekterna på miljön snarare än ett direkt orsakssamband.
Den ekonomiska skada som orsakats av behovet av ökade anpassning och skador på infrastruktur skulle kunna avhjälpas genom kompensation. Omlokalisering skulle kunna genomföras genom köp av obebodd mark för vidarebosättning och i ett sådant fall skulle en lämplig åtgärd vara kompensation. Dock är det mer problematiskt om staten yrkar på att dess medborgare bör tilldelas skydd i den svarande staten. Detta skulle dock kunna avhjälpas genom restitution eller som en form av kompensation. Vidare bör de jurisdiktionsfrågor som uppstår om Kiribati drar en stat inför rätta i en internationell domstol, beaktas. Därmed skulle ett rådgivande yttrande i ICJ vara en potentiell lösning för Kiribati.
Slutsatsen kan därmed dras att skyddet för klimatbetingade migranter för närvarande är otillräckligt och att detta bör åtgärdas. Dock vilar statsansvarsreglerna på en grund som inte är väl anpassad för klimatförändringars specifika karaktär, främst gällande svårigheterna att fastställa ett orsakssamband och oklarheterna gällande UNFCCC:s bindande verkan. Dock skulle ett etablerande av statsansvar utverka en viktig prejudicerande effekt i förhandlingarna om skyddet av klimatbetingade migranter. Avhandlingen belyser därmed en problematisk aspekt i folkrätten, det vill säga, det faktum att den är begränsad till staters samtycke. Då klimatförändringen är ett resultat av industrier som fyller en viktig ekonomisk funktion, kan staters incitament att bromsa växthusgasutsläppen ifrågasättas. (Less)
Abstract
The consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly clear and there is broad agreement on the fact that it will affect small island developing states to a large extent, to which it may force entire populations to relocate. As the issue of climate induced migration is largely unregulated, this thesis therefore seeks to examine if states could claim state responsibility for climate change, if a migration scheme could be awarded as a form of remedy and if a state could succeed in bringing forward such a case.
As a small island developing state located in the Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Kiribati is used as a case example in the assessment. Its typographical conditions makes the state particularly vulnerable to climate change. As... (More)
The consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly clear and there is broad agreement on the fact that it will affect small island developing states to a large extent, to which it may force entire populations to relocate. As the issue of climate induced migration is largely unregulated, this thesis therefore seeks to examine if states could claim state responsibility for climate change, if a migration scheme could be awarded as a form of remedy and if a state could succeed in bringing forward such a case.
As a small island developing state located in the Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Kiribati is used as a case example in the assessment. Its typographical conditions makes the state particularly vulnerable to climate change. As adaptation measures, both on an international and national level, are criticised for the lack of funding and for their inefficiencies, they might not suffice to mitigate the effects of climate change on Kiribati whose government has foreseen the risk of a total relocation of the population.
The topic of climate induced migration is largely discussed among scholars, debating on, inter alia, the causes of migration and the number of migrants. Several different solutions are proposed to enhance the protection of the category of migrants, facing various challenges, and currently there is no solution to the increasingly imminent issue. Establishing state responsibility for climate change and claiming a migration scheme as a remedy, could thereby be a viable solution to increase the protection of climate induced migrants.
The case of Kiribati is based upon two claims. Firstly, the state seeks compensation for adaptation measures due to the rise in sea level. Secondly, as a consequence of the need to relocate its entire population, the state seeks a migration scheme to do so. The international obligations examined in the thesis is the climate change regime, consisting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as, international customary law, in the form of the no-harm rule.
In order to establish state responsibility, the breach must firstly be attributable to the state. In the present case it can be argued that states have an obligation to ensure that their international obligations are adhered to, and that they thereby must legislate and ensure compliance with certain emission targets.
Secondly, a breach of the primary rules must be established. As climate change is a consequences of cumulative actions by multiple states this might pose as a legal hurdle. Several different states are examined and possible respondent states are argued to be the ones who either have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, and could be examined under the rules of the UNFCCC, or the ones which failed to meet their QUELRO’s which could then be in breach of the Kyoto Protocol or under the no-harm rule.
Moreover, in order to claim a remedy there must be a chain of causation. Public international law proposes different approaches to how causality should be established. The specific characteristics of climate change call for an approach where the chain of causation is based upon states’ contributions to the adverse effects to the environment.
The financial damage occurred through increased adaptation and damage to infrastructure could be remedied through compensation. Relocation could be implemented through the purchase of uninhabited land for resettlement and thereby compensated. Thus, if claimed that the citizens of the state should be awarded protection in the respondent state, such a claim would entail difficulties. However, it is argued that it could be remedied through restitution or as a form of compensation. Moreover, if Kiribati was to launch a contentious case at the ICJ, several jurisdictional issues would arise and an advisory opinion could thereby be a viable solution.
It can thereby be concluded that as the protection for climate induced migrants at present is insufficient and that there is a need for a larger inclusion. Thus, establishing state responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions and claiming remedies would prove difficult, mainly due to the issue of causation and the uncertainties regarding the binding force of the primary obligations. However, if established, it could form an important precedent in negotiations on the protection of climate induced migrants. The thesis thereby highlights the many inefficiencies of public international law, of which the most important one is the fact that it is based on the consent of states. As climate change is a result of industries, which play an important economic purpose, the incentives of states to mitigate the issue can be questioned. (Less)
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author
Goral, Lana LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGM01 20142
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Public international law, international refugee law, theory of international law, state responsibility, migration, climate change
language
English
id
4905454
date added to LUP
2015-02-03 12:25:52
date last changed
2015-02-03 12:25:52
@misc{4905454,
  abstract     = {The consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly clear and there is broad agreement on the fact that it will affect small island developing states to a large extent, to which it may force entire populations to relocate. As the issue of climate induced migration is largely unregulated, this thesis therefore seeks to examine if states could claim state responsibility for climate change, if a migration scheme could be awarded as a form of remedy and if a state could succeed in bringing forward such a case. 
 As a small island developing state located in the Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Kiribati is used as a case example in the assessment. Its typographical conditions makes the state particularly vulnerable to climate change. As adaptation measures, both on an international and national level, are criticised for the lack of funding and for their inefficiencies, they might not suffice to mitigate the effects of climate change on Kiribati whose government has foreseen the risk of a total relocation of the population.
 The topic of climate induced migration is largely discussed among scholars, debating on, inter alia, the causes of migration and the number of migrants. Several different solutions are proposed to enhance the protection of the category of migrants, facing various challenges, and currently there is no solution to the increasingly imminent issue. Establishing state responsibility for climate change and claiming a migration scheme as a remedy, could thereby be a viable solution to increase the protection of climate induced migrants. 
 The case of Kiribati is based upon two claims. Firstly, the state seeks compensation for adaptation measures due to the rise in sea level. Secondly, as a consequence of the need to relocate its entire population, the state seeks a migration scheme to do so. The international obligations examined in the thesis is the climate change regime, consisting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as, international customary law, in the form of the no-harm rule. 
 In order to establish state responsibility, the breach must firstly be attributable to the state. In the present case it can be argued that states have an obligation to ensure that their international obligations are adhered to, and that they thereby must legislate and ensure compliance with certain emission targets.
 Secondly, a breach of the primary rules must be established. As climate change is a consequences of cumulative actions by multiple states this might pose as a legal hurdle. Several different states are examined and possible respondent states are argued to be the ones who either have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, and could be examined under the rules of the UNFCCC, or the ones which failed to meet their QUELRO’s which could then be in breach of the Kyoto Protocol or under the no-harm rule.
 Moreover, in order to claim a remedy there must be a chain of causation. Public international law proposes different approaches to how causality should be established. The specific characteristics of climate change call for an approach where the chain of causation is based upon states’ contributions to the adverse effects to the environment. 
 The financial damage occurred through increased adaptation and damage to infrastructure could be remedied through compensation. Relocation could be implemented through the purchase of uninhabited land for resettlement and thereby compensated. Thus, if claimed that the citizens of the state should be awarded protection in the respondent state, such a claim would entail difficulties. However, it is argued that it could be remedied through restitution or as a form of compensation. Moreover, if Kiribati was to launch a contentious case at the ICJ, several jurisdictional issues would arise and an advisory opinion could thereby be a viable solution.
 It can thereby be concluded that as the protection for climate induced migrants at present is insufficient and that there is a need for a larger inclusion. Thus, establishing state responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions and claiming remedies would prove difficult, mainly due to the issue of causation and the uncertainties regarding the binding force of the primary obligations. However, if established, it could form an important precedent in negotiations on the protection of climate induced migrants. The thesis thereby highlights the many inefficiencies of public international law, of which the most important one is the fact that it is based on the consent of states. As climate change is a result of industries, which play an important economic purpose, the incentives of states to mitigate the issue can be questioned.},
  author       = {Goral, Lana},
  keyword      = {Public international law,international refugee law,theory of international law,state responsibility,migration,climate change},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Climate Change and State Responsibility - Migration as a Remedy?},
  year         = {2014},
}