Turning the tide : investigating the European Union’s approach to environmentally displaced people and advancing human rights based solutions

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Della Lucia, Anna
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Among the adverse effects of climate change, the phenomenon of forced human displacement is often overlooked. Above all, this creates challenges to the recognition and protection of the human rights of those displaced. This thesis aims at investigating the approach of the European Union (EU) to environmental displacement due to climate change, with a particular focus on the recognition and protection of environmentally displaced people (EDPs). Since the EU is on the frontline to promote and finance climate policies in favour of vulnerable countries and communities, it has the potential to be a pioneer in raising awareness and concretely contributing to the protection of EDPs. In view of such crucial position, the thesis examines the EU’s institutional discourse and climate finance projects to assess how the issues of environmental displacement, EDPs protection and human rights are addressed. The analysis identifies a progressive acknowledgement of EDPs in the EU’s policy discourse, however recognising a certain lack of integration of human rights concerns. In light of this, the thesis suggests the adoption of a human rights based approach to EU’s climate action as a valid measure to comprehensively understand, address and advance solutions for the protection of EDPs and their human rights.
Second semester University: University of Graz.
climatic changes, displaced persons, environmental policy, human rights, European Union