Climate refugee numbers alarmist

Predictions of one billion people made homeless by climate change are alarmist, writes international law expert Jane McAdam, who is in Geneva to present her research at the United Nations.

McAdam inside

Predictions of one billion people made homeless by climate change don't ring true with the research being done by migration experts, says Associate Professor Jane McAdam, who is in Geneva to present her findings at the United Nations.

Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, she described as "alarmist" reports based on a scientific paper presented this week at the start of climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico. The news reports claimed climate change would make up to 1 billion people homeless, deny 3 billion access to clean water and see the emergence of ''ghost states''.

"Climate change-induced migration and displacement are real. But it is too simplistic to suggest that the impacts of climate change on human settlements will spur mass migration, and it could feed panic about the security implications of human movement.

"The figures cited don't ring true with any of the research being done by migration experts on the impacts of climate change and human movement."

A/Prof McAdam is at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees` Dialogue on Protection Challenges where she has addressed over 300 government officials, NGOs, representatives of international organisations and academics, on the shortcomings of existing legal frameworks to address climate change-induced displacement.

For more information go to the Faculty of Law website.

To read the full opinion piece go to the SMH website.

Contact: Steve Offner, UNSW Media Office | 02 9385 8107