Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A sign of things to come: The first claim for asylum from a "climate-change refugee" in New Zealand

Is this a surprise to anybody?:

THE first claim for asylum from a “climate-change refugee” is set to be heard by a court in New Zealand.

The man from the island of Kiribati arrived in New Zealand six years ago and has since settled and fathered three children.
Immigration authorities have twice tried to send him back to the Pacific island, but he has argued rising sea levels caused by global warming means it is not safe for him to return there.
His lawyer, Michael Kidd, plans to argue his case before the High Court on 16 October.
Kiribati, a string of 33 coral atolls about halfway between Hawaii and Australia, has about 103,000 in habitants and has been identified by scientists as among the nations most vulnerable to climate change.
In a transcript of his immigration case, the man said that around 1998, king tides – extreme high tides – began regularly breaching the sea walls around his village, which was overcrowded and had no sewerage system. He said the drinking water would then make people vomit, and that there was no higher ground to escape to.
He said returning to Kiribati would endanger his two youngest children. He said: “There’s no future for us when we go back to Kiribati. Especially for my children. There’s nothing for us there

A University of Auckland law expert thinks that there could be a need to widen the definition of a refugee to include climate-change refugees:

Professor Bill Hodge, a law expert at the University of Auckland, said there was no evidence of persecution on the grounds of gender, race or belief. But, he said, even if the man loses, his case might fuel calls for a widening of the definition of a refugee.

If the court in New Zealand does not grant this man asylum, then he should apply for refugee status in a European Union country. Surely the man from Kiribati - and millions of other "climate-change refugees" must be entitled to asylum somewhere in the EU, "the global leader in climate change policy". After all, isn't it the EU, which through its "climate aid" programmes has made the "natives"aware about being the victims of human caused global warming.

Here is a shortlist of the most "vulnerable" areas, from where the EU can look forward to welcoming future climate-change refugees:

China came out as far and away the world's most vulnerable nation overall, followed closely by India. Bangladesh and Trinidad and Tobago also made the top 10, as did the African nations of Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Burundi, Sudan and Rwanda. But a different examination limited to just vulnerability to extreme weather risk found new countries on the endangered catalog, like Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Mozambique and the Philippines

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