ClimAccount: Human Rights Accountability of the EU and Austria for Climate Policies in Third Countries and their possible Effects on Migration

About the Project

The project aimed to analyse human rights implications of climate policies and their possible repercussions for displacement, resettlement and/or relocation. Climate policies (i.e. mitigation and adaptation policies) have an effect on the enjoyment of human rights and may even lead to migration. Persons affected may either move as part of an adaptation measure (migration as an adaptive strategy), as a result of an unintended effect of implemented mitigation and adaptation measures (displacement or eviction) or as an individual decision to adapt to the deteriorating environment and the deprivation of livelihoods in the course of climate policy measures.

The project aimed at shedding light on this complex relationship between climate policies, migration and human rights by focussing on the effects of climate policies for the enjoyment of human rights of persons in third countries and migration, displacement and resettlement considering the national, regional, EU- and Austrian level using a Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA). In doing so, three in-depth case studies will be conducted.

With the example of three case studies the project investigated the adequacy of international legal, normative and institutional frameworks. The research concentrated on the analysis of the EU’s and Austria’s climate policies from a human rights perspective, in particular on actual implications of mitigation and adaptation policies on the enjoyment of human rights and, as a consequence, on migration, resettlement and displacement in third countries. The focus of the project was on the human rights accountability of EU and Austrian climate policies in third countries.

To this end, the case studies concentrated on countries which are affected by climate change and where climate policies are carried out either in cooperation with, financed and supported by or related in any other way to the EU and Austria (e.g. by membership in financing institutions). In this context also (extraterritorial) human rights obligations of the EU and Austria are to be identified and – if necessary – recommendations are addressed to policy makers on how to adequately integrate human rights considerations into climate policies – mitigation policies and (development) policies promoting adaptation measures – in order to avoid unintended resettlement.

The project was divided into five Work Packages (WP):

WP 1: Desk Research, Explorative Phase

WP 2: Case Studies

WP 3: Bringing together the results of the case studies, Drafting recommendations

WP 4: Publications, Dissemination

WP 5: Overall management of the project

Project partners are the Bielefeld University, Research Unit on Transnationalization, Development and Migration (Jeanette Schade) and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy (Wolfgang Sterk).

This project receives financial support from the Climate and Energy Fund and is carried out within the framework of the “ACRP” Programme.

Project Data

Country: Austria, Germany
Persons involved: Monika Mayrhofer (Project leader); Margit Ammer and Jane Hofbauer (Researchers); Margit Braun (Project assistance)
Contact persons: Monika Mayrhofer
Lead Organisation: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR)
Partner organisations: Bielefeld University, Research Unit on Transnationalization, Development and Migration (DE), Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy (DE)
Project start: 03/2014
Project end: 06/2016
Project completed: Yes
Funded by: Climate and Energy Fund
Programme Line LBI-GMR: Asylum and Migration