26 September 2013
Climate change refugee claim denied in New Zealand
A man from the Pacific island of Kiribati was denied a claim for refugee status based on climate change grounds.
The New Zealand Tribunal said that ‘there is no evidence establishing that the environmental conditions that he faced or is likely to face on return are so parlous that his life will be placed in jeopardy’ and that ‘the appellant’s claim under the Refugee Convention must necessarily fail because the effects of environmental degradation on his standard of living were, by his own admission, faced by the population generally’.
Kiribati is a small island threatened by the rise of sea levels whose government has urged international efforts to support small countries in climate change issues.