Climate change is predicted to lead to mass displacement, since the land where millions of people currently live will be, at some point, covered with water. For some populations, this will mean to be permanently displaced to a different country because the territory that their sovereign nations occupy will disappear. The most well‐known cases involve the citizens of Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Maldives. As the negative impact of climate change becomes clearer and closer in time, policy solutions to this problem are discussed. In this paper, I look at previous cases of populations’ displacement to identify policy lessons that may be applicable to climate-driven displacement. I thus present four case—involving populations in China, Kosovo, New Orleans and the island of Bikini, and determine the lessons that can be learned, how they can be applied to the inevitable displacement looming in the Pacific Ocean, and suggest policy recommendations. I chose to look at this issue from the perspective of the displaced and suggest recommendations that take into consideration the hardships associated with displacement. I think of this as giving a “human face” to the problem and hope that the policy recommendations will make displacement a little bit easier for the displaced.
Recommended CitationUmbach, Alaina, "The Human Face of Permanent Climate-Induced Displacement" (2013). Honors Projects in History and Social Sciences. Paper 21.