Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy


While climate change is a natural phenomenon, it has also caused a series of social problems for human society. One of the most serious repercussions of climate change is the impact on population movements. As the effects of climate change grow exponentially, the number of climate change-induced migrants will also increase. Climate change-induced migrants are individuals who spontaneously or forcibly migrate temporarily or permanently from their hometowns to other regions under the influence of climate policies or climate-related projects. Climate change, either suddenly or gradually, negatively affected these migrants’ living conditions, making it impossible to survive where they were located. China’s climate is complex and its ecological environment is fragile, making it very vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. Since 2012, China has suffered from frequent extreme weather conditions that have taken a heavy toll on agriculture and people’s lives. Because China has not paid adequate attention to climate change-induced migrants, migrants must deal with many legal barriers both when they leave their home and when they resettle. The main legal barriers are the obstacles encountered during the shift from urban to rural environments (or vice versa), the acquisition of interests in land, and the religious conflicts between migrants and local residents. China is currently struggling with how to support these migrants and remove the legal obstacles. At the same time, China struggles to better understand how to reduce overall migration caused by climate change. This paper will focus on China’s recent efforts to remove legal obstacles for climate change-induced migrants. This paper consists of an introduction and three chapters. The introduction describes the definition of climate change-induced migrants, China’s climate, what causes the migrations, and the main regions where these migrations occur. The three chapters introduce two cases of climate change-induced migrants, analyze the main legal dilemmas they are faced with, and propose some legal countermeasures to remove these obstacles.

First Page




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