Energy Justice and Climate-Refugees


Journal Article


Mastor, R A
Dworkin, M H
Landa, M L
Duff, E


Energy Justice and Climate-Refugees




Energy LJ

Vol (No), pp

39, 139


The current level of displacement is at its highest since World War II, with “[a]n unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world” forced from home.3 These statistics include an unknown number of people displaced because of the direct and indirect effects of climate change.4 Such effects are difficult to pinpoint as the direct cause, as many factors contribute to initiating a refugee triggering event. Climate-refugees have historically migrated mostly within their home countries, while only some of the displacement is cross-border or international.9 Even though we recognize the importance of addressing the plight of the internally displaced climate-refugees, for the purposes of this article our discussion will focus on cross-border and international displacement of climate-refugees, trying to understand how to address the inevitable impacts of this phenomenon.10 There is no question that we face a global problem unprecedented in both scale and duration: an escalation in the number of refugees by ten-fold or more as a result of major adverse effects due to climate change, and such escalation that may continue unabated.11 At the same time, we face the prospect of refugees who cannot expect to ever return to their homelands. Climate change has a disproportionate impact on poor and developing countries because they lack the necessary capabilities to mitigate and adapt to the consequences of climate change.12 Therefore, as the causes of the refugee phenomenon intensify, and the number of people displaced from their homes is increased at an alarming pace, it makes us question how to best address this unfolding problem. “16 Current data is already giving clear indications of this future.17 The climate is projected to continue to warm.18 Although the international community is attempting to reduce emissions and limit the level of global warming, “[a] certain amount of continued warming of the planet is projected to occur . . . even if all emissions from human activities suddenly stopped.


Mastor, R. A., et al. (2018). “Energy Justice and Climate-Refugees.” Energy LJ 39: 139.