Climate Change and Human Displacement: The Need for a New Legal Regime
At present climate change is a reality that is bound to cause the largest exodus of its victims. It has been predicted that almost 200 million climate change victims will be displaced from their homes, which might even escalate, as the global anthropogenic emission continues to increase. However, national, regional or international governance system is not well adept to deal with this menace. Lacuna in the existing international legal and policy framework dealing with climate change and events associated with it, for most of its part leaves out the issue of climate refugee, thereby rendering the whole idea invalid at law. Adherence to the definition of refugee as provided by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) through its 1951 Refugee Convention, at the time when the issue of climate refugee was almost non-existent. Climate Change and its consequences are more conspicuous than ever before and have been alarmingly high. In this regard, the definitional debate that is still existent would further delay the redressing of the problems associated with climate refugees thereby worsening their condition and making the problems severe. For this end, it is exigent that a new instrument dealing with the issue of climate refugees be drawn in light of the existing climate change regime. This however is a daunting task and calls for co-operation and joint action from various international actors at global and local levels.