Extending refugee definitions to cover environmentally displaced persons displaces necessary protection

The growing effects of climate change and global warming create a need for protection of environmentally displaced persons. While governments could use current international and domestic definitions of refugee to protect environmentally displaced persons, it is unlikely that any government will do so. Even if governments did extend existing refugee and asylum laws to include environmentally displaced persons, it would provide insufficient protection. In addition, it would consume judicial resources needed for persons currently receiving protection under refugee and asylum laws. The protection of environmentally displaced persons, while necessary, should not fall under current asylum and refugee laws. Instead, new domestic and international laws should grant environmentally displaced persons refuge under a more protective, cost-sharing approach.

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