This project will investigate the current and potential scope of international protection as well as other forms of protection (in particular humanitarian protection) for persons displaced in the context of climate change in the EU, in particular in Austria and Sweden. 

Climate change is becoming an increasingly important factor in regard to migration and displacement. Although most persons affected by climate change-related mobility remain in their regions of origin, some of them (will) arrive in Europe, including Austria and Sweden. However, the legal status of persons arriving in Europe in this context is still inadequately addressed (normative protection gap).

Firstly, the status quo at the global level as well as regional European level (Geneva Refugee Convention, international human rights law) is analysed. In a second step, relevant EU law, in particular the EU Qualification Directive, is assessed.

In analysing the scope of international protection, social factors, such as inequality and discrimination, that are important dimensions concerning the impact of climate change in general and in the context of climate change-related displacement in particular, are taken into account. For the purpose of embedding the legal questions into a broader international policy framework, the latest international institutional and policy developments in the context of climate/environmental change-related mobility and their implications for Austria and Europe will be analysed.

Case studies of Austria and Sweden as two EU Member States are conducted to explore and analyse the situation at national level. National legal frameworks and jurisprudence will be assessed in the light of international law and EU legal standards.

Finally, the proposed project aims to draft recommendations on how to address normative gaps.

Persons involved: 

Matthew Scott

Head of People on the Move Thematic Area

Project Duration: 


Funded by: 

Klima- und Energiefonds


Anti-Discrimination, Diversity and Asylum

Projects Asylum, Anti-Discrimination and Diversity

AsylumEnvironmental Migration