Research Handbook on Climate Change, Migration and the Law
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Research Handbook on Climate Change, Migration and the Law

Edited by Benoît Mayer and François Crépeau

This comprehensive Research Handbook provides an overview of the debates on how the law does, and could, relate to migration exacerbated by climate change. It contains conceptual chapters on the relationship between climate change, migration and the law, as well as doctrinal and prospective discussions regarding legal developments in different domestic contexts and in international governance.
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Chapter 21: Towards an extension of complementary protection?

Susan F. Martin


This chapter reviews proposals towards an extension of complementary protection to individuals displaced across international borders by the effects of climate change and other environmental drivers. In particular, it discusses the outcomes of the Nansen Initiative, an intergovernmental initiative that sought to promote the development of a protection agenda through a series of consultation conducted from 2012 to 2016 under the leadership of Walter Kälin. In terms of process, Section II notes some parallels between this initiative and the developments which led to the adoption of the guiding principles on internal displacement. Section III recounts the origins and outcomes of the Nansen Initiative’s Agenda for Protection and its successor, the Platform on Disaster Displacement. The following section looks more closely into the Nansen Initiative’s recommendations on humanitarian admissions and deferral of deportation, a centrepiece of its protection agenda. The concluding section outlines the strengths and weaknesses in this approach to protection as well as next steps in this process.

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