The Climate Dispossessed

The Climate Dispossessed

Justice for the Pacific in Aotearoa?

The world is heating up beyond the capacity of some countries to cope. Entire populations of Pacific islands are threatened, jeopardising the sovereign rights of these countries and the security of the region. This book explores what a just response to the risk of climate change displacement in the Pacific could look like.

It’s a difficult conversation. For many Pacific islands, talking about plans to abandon their country risks providing the international community with an excuse to not reduce emissions. Yet internal climate change displacement cannot be avoided, and cross-border displacement may become a reality without urgent climate action. The risk of this dispossession presents profound questions of life, identity and justice for all of us living in the Pacific, in light of the fundamental principles of international law and our commitments in Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

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Print publication:
Ebook publication: Mar 2020
Pages: 160
RRP: $14.99
ISBN: 9781988587233
DOI: 10.7810/9781988587233

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'Fleeing or living - questions from the frontline of climate change', Teuila Fuatai, Stuff, 11 April 2020.


This book brings into question New Zealand's position in the Pacific region within the era of climate change and the threat of climate change displacement. The complex issues of environmental and societal vulnerability, statehood and identity are carefully considered within Aotearoa New Zealand’s historical and contemporary relationships with the Pacific region. Included in the analysis is the call to amplify the voices of Māori when conducting international relations, and for Māori tenets and Te Tiriti o Waitangi to be central to future approaches to the risk of climate displacement. A thought-provoking read on how we might respond to future climate change emergencies.
– Dr Evelyn Marsters, Co-Director of New Zealand Alternative