Statehood in an era of sinking islands

Authored by: Tom Sparks

Routledge Handbook of Climate Justice

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138689350
eBook ISBN: 9781315537689
Adobe ISBN:


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The submergence of a State was, until recently, an almost unthinkable idea for international law. Although States may lose personality or disintegrate, the physical loss of a State’s territory has only begun to be contemplated in the context of catastrophic climate change. As the global climate warms, increasingly frequent and severe storm events and sea-level rise will render the territories of low-lying coastal and small island States uninhabitable, or may submerge them altogether.

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