The Ethical Implications of Sea-Level Rise Due to Climate Change

Ethics and International Affairs 24 (3):239-260 (2010)
Does humanity have a moral obligation toward the estimated millions of individuals who will be displaced from their homes over the course of this century primarily due to sea-level rise as the Earth’s climate warms? If there are indeed sound reasons for the world to act on their behalf, what form should these actions take? This paper argues that migration and permanent resettlement would be the only possible “adaptation” strategy available to millions. While existing international law provides no solution for these individuals, the only just remedy is in the form of special rights of free global movement and resettlement in regions and countries on higher ground in advance of disaster.
Keywords migration and climate change  positive and negative duties
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DOI 10.1111/j.1747-7093.2010.00266.x
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