Sustainability Science

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 5–16

Defining climate-change victims

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11625-011-0138-0

Cite this article as:
Popovski, V. & Mundy, K.G. Sustain Sci (2012) 7: 5. doi:10.1007/s11625-011-0138-0


This article introduces the concept of “climate-change victims” and classifies categories of threats and groups of people who would be vulnerable to and victimized by human-induced climate change. (The full, correct wording is “human-induced climate-change victims”, but we will use just “climate-change victims” in the rest of the article.) It offers a definition with three levels of climate-change victimization and differentiates “climate-change victims” from “natural-disasters victims” and from “climate-change migrants”. The article sets an agenda for a new type of victimhood and could lead to further research on possible prevention, accountability measures, environmental tribunals, and compensation mechanisms to recompense climate-change victims.


Climate changeVictimsVulnerabilityMigrationSufferingNatural disasters

Copyright information

© Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science, United Nations University, and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and PeaceTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Tokiwa International Victimology Institute, Tokiwa UniversityMitoJapan