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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 April 2019
This paper sketches an account of reparative justice for climate refugees, focusing on total land loss due to sea-level rise. I begin by outlining the harm of this loss in terms of self-determination and cultural heritage. I then consider, first, who is owed these reparations? Second, who should pay such reparations? Third, in what form should the reparations be paid? I end with thoughts on the project of reparative justice more generally, arguing that such obligations do not depend upon a perfect account of how reparations might be fulfilled; we simply have an obligation to shoot the arrow as close to the target as we can.
2 IPCC. (2013) ‘Fifth Assessment Report: A Physical Science Basis’, (retrieved May 11th, 2018) available at: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/
3 This paper assumes that climate change is manmade. That is, the warming of the planet is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases and burning of fossil fuels. For more information on the unequivocal evidence for this assumption please see the NASA climate report (2015), IPCC (2013; 2014; 2015).
4 Kelman, I. and West, J. (2009) ‘Climate Change and Small Island Developing States: A Review’, Ecological and Environmental Anthropology, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1–16Google Scholar
5 Souter, J. (2013) ‘Towards a Theory of Asylum as Reparation for Past Injustice’, Political Studies, Vol. 62, No. 2. 326–342Google Scholar
6 UN General Assembly, Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 28 July 1951, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189, p. 137, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3be01b964.html [accessed 14 June 2018]
8 Some disagree with specifying refugees due to ‘types’ of displacement. See in particular Zetter (2007) in which he argues that creating typologies of refugees leads to differential treatment. Whilst I agree that in a current political climate in which not all refugees have their basic, minimal rights respected, we may not want to encourage a prioritisation of some refugees over others. However, from the perspective of reparations, it may be that causes of displacement can generate additional duties. Zetter, R. (2007) ‘More Labels, Fewer Refugees: Remaking the Refugee Label in an Era of Globalization’, Journal of Refugee Studies, Vol. 20, No. 2, 172-192CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
13 T. Hobbes, Leviathan, Oxford: Basil Blackwell (1946), 232
16 Deshalit, A., (2011) ‘Climate Change Refugees, Compensation and Rectification’, The Monist, Vol. 94, No. 3, 315Google Scholar
17 Goodin, R. (1985) Protecting the Vulnerable, University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 60Google Scholar
18 Ögalen, J. (2015) ‘Underwater Self-determination: Sea-Level Rise and Deterritorialized, Small Island States’, Ethics, Policy and Environment, Vol. 17, No. 2, 233Google Scholar.
20 Government of Tuvalu (2015) ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions: Communicated to the UNFCC on November 27 2015’, available at: http://www4.unfccc.int/ndcregistry/PublishedDocuments/Tuvalu%20First/TUVALU%20INDC. pdf
21 Thompson, J. (2002) Taking Responsibility for the Past: Reparations and Historic Injustice, Wiley: London, 42Google Scholar
22 Walzer, M. (1983) Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality, New York Books: New York, 49Google Scholar
23 C. Ogletree (2002) ‘Repairing the Past: New Efforts in in the Reparations Debate in America’, Harvard Civil-Rights Civil-Liberties, Law Review, Vol. 38, 279
24 M. McKeown (2015) ‘Collective Responsibility for the Future’, University College Dublin
26 C. Ogletree (2002), 311
27 I. Young (2011) Responsibility for Justice, 105–106; (quoted in McKeown, 2015)
28 Thompson, J. (2002) Taking Responsibility for the Past: Reparations and Historic Injustice, Wiley: London, 41Google Scholar
30 J. Thompson (2002), Taking Responsibility for the Past: Reparations and Historic Injustice, 43
34 For a convincing solution to the non-identity problem, see Gardner, M. (2015) ‘A Harm-Based Solution to the Non-Identity Problem’, Ergo, Vol. 2, No. 17, 427–444Google Scholar
36 T. Coates, (2014) ‘The Case for Reparations’ The Atlantic, available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/
37 J. Drydyk, P. Penz & P. Bose (2011) Displacement by Development: Ethics, Rights and Responsibilities, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 210
38 J. Souter (2013) ‘Towards a Theory of Asylum as Reparation for Past Injustice’, 330
41 P. Penz (1997) ‘The Ethics of Development Induced Displacement’, Refuge, Vol. 16, No. 3, 38
42 J. Souter (2013), ‘Towards a Theory of Asylum as Reparation for Past Injustice’, 330
43 S. Gardiner (2006) ‘A Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change, Intergenerational Ethics and the Problem of Moral Corruption’, Environmental Values, Vol. 15, 398
44 For the sake of brevity, this paper will not consider the APP in full as, in being focused on ability, it does not satisfy the question of who is responsible for climate change. For further discussion on the APP, please see Caney, S. (2010) ‘Climate Change and the Duties of the Advantaged’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 13, No. 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
46 Caney, S. (2005) ‘Cosmopolitan Justice, Responsibility, and Global Climate Change’, Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 18, 753)Google Scholar
50 Doty, R. (2011) ‘Bare Life: Border Crossing Deaths and Spaces of Moral Alibi, Environment and Planning: Society and Space, Vol. 29, No. 4, 599–612Google Scholar.
51 C. Nine (2012) Global Justice and Territory, 162
56 S. Caney (2010) ‘Climate Change and the Duties of the Advantaged’, 209
62 A. de Shalit (2011) ‘Climate Change Refugees, Compensation and Rectification’, 328
63 De Shalit, A. (2011) ‘Climate Change Refugees, Compensation and Rectification’, The Monist, Vol. 94, No. 3, 311Google Scholar
64 Case D1/2018, High Court of the Commonwealth of Australia; Commonwealth of Australia v. Mr A Griffiths (deceased) and Lorraine Jones on behalf of the Ngaliwurru and Nungali Peoples http://www.hcourt.gov.au/cases/case_d1-2018
65 See, for example, the displacement solutions generated for small island states and the Tuvalu HLD initiative: http://displacementsolutions.org/ds-initiatives/climate-change-and-displacement-initiative/tuvalu-climate-displacement
66 J. Souter (2013) ‘Asylum as Reparations for Past Injustice’, 327
72 Marino, E. (2015) Fierce Climate, Sacred Ground, University of Alaska Press: Fairbanks, 81Google Scholar
73 Displacement Solutions (2011) available at: http://displacementsolutions.org/ds-initiatives/climate-change-and-displacement-initiative/tuvalu-climate-displacement
74 A. de Shalit (2011) ‘Climate Change Refugees, Compensation and Rectification’, 328
75 McAdam, J. (2016) ‘The High Price of Resettlement: the proposed environmental relocation of Nauru to Australia’, Australian Geographer, Vol. 48, No. 1, 8Google Scholar
76 Written Statement of Nauru 1991, pars. 20, 74; quoted in J. McAdam (2016), 10
77 C. Nine (2012) Global Justice and Territory, 163
78 Government of Tuvalu (2015) ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions: Communicated to the UNFCC on November 27 2015’, available at: http://www4.unfccc.int/ndcregistry/PublishedDocuments/Tuvalu%20First/TUVALU%20INDC.pdf
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