Global human impact on the environment is creating a new kind of casualty – the environmental refugee.

Floods, storms, drought and other “man-made” disasters are already a bigger cause of population displacement than war and persecution.

This pocketbook argues that international law should recognise the concept of “environmental persecution” – action by states that lead to the oppression of individuals – and grant refugee status to people driven from the homes by a lost or ruined environment.

Without international recognition, the environmental refugee crisis could turn into a major source of global instability.