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When Their Home is Submerged – Who will take the climate refugees in?

When Their Home is Submerged – Who will take the climate refugees in?

11 March 2010

As part of this year’s theme “Climate Change and Security Policy,” the Tönissteiner Kreis held this panel discussion in cooperation with the International Club of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.  Stephan Sina from Ecologic Institute along with Steffen Bauer (German Development Institute) and Bernd Mesovic (Pro Asyl) sat on the panel. The discussion was moderated by Dagmar Dehmer (Tagesspiegel).

PodiumThe objective of the event was to shed light on the relationship between climate change, security policy and migration and to pinpoint solutions to challenges arising from these issues. In their opening statements, the three speakers discussed these issues from the perspective of public international law and international and national policy. The lively general discussion that followed clearly revealed the difficulties in reacting to this situation according to public international law. Simultaneously, many different ways for policy to react differently in the future – such as through support of measure for climate change adaptation – were considered. A consensus was reached that the challenges presented by climate induced migration can only be surmounted through a unified approach resting upon involvement from environmental, development and human rights policy.

Dealing with migrant individuals and groups from submerged countries was identified as a unique topic within this range of issues. Thus, various suggestions for achieving agreements under international law were discussed. The moral responsibility of the industrial nations for this consequence of climate change also was emphasized.

A reception brought the event to a close. Camilla Bausch of Ecologic Institute made significant contributions to the organization of the event.

Foto: Internationaler Club im AA

Keywords: Climate, Migration, Security Policy, Public International Law, Refugee, Tönnissteiner Kreis, International Club, Federal Foreign Office, Development Policy, Island Countries, Asylum, Responsibility, Moralitiy, Climate Refugee

11 March 2010
Berlin, Germany