International agreements on climate induced migration

International agreements

There are no legally binding international regimes that protect climate migrants, there are only voluntary compacts. International law does not recognize climate refugees under the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 protocol, making them ineligible for any protection under national or international legal frameworks.

  • Nansen Initiative, launched in 2021, is a state-led consultative process to build consensus on a protection agenda addressing the needs of people displaced across borders in the context of disasters and the effects of climate change
  • The signatories to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change requested that the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage Associated with Climate Change (WIM) develop recommendations for addressing people displaced by climate change.
  • The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (adopted by 164 countries—not including the U.S.—in Marrakech in December 2018) called on countries to make plans to prevent the need for climate-caused relocation and support those forced to relocate. It is the first-ever negotiated global framework on migration.
  • In 2015, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was adopted, in which States highlighted displacement as a consequence of disasters
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Although the SDGs do not explicitly link climate change and migration, SDG target 10.7 calls for signatories to “facilitate orderly, safe, and responsible migration of people
  • In 2017, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution addressing the human rights of environmental migrants.


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