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Abstract

Climate-related concerns displace millions of people annually, and the problem is only expected to grow in the coming years; however, present institutions lack the capacity and structure to adequately address the problem, and many scholars and policymakers have called for new laws or treaties concerning it. This process presents challenges, as the scope of the problem of climate displacement is complex and can compound existing conditions of economic and political precarity. Through discursive analysis of sociolegal documents, this paper examines the current obligations toward climate-displaced persons being asserted by different national and international actors in the international arena. The paper explores possibilities for different types of climate-related displacement to be sorted into existing legal and political categories and the usefulness of existing humanitarian projects in addressing future resettlement needs. The thesis ultimately seeks to construct an understanding of how obligations toward climate-displaced persons are being volunteered, contested, and alleviated through public channels and explore the potential implications of these self-defined obligations for new legislation.

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