Original Article

Sustainability Science

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 5-16

First online:

Defining climate-change victims

  • Vesselin PopovskiAffiliated withUnited Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace Email author 
  • , Kieran G. MundyAffiliated withTokiwa International Victimology Institute, Tokiwa University

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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 change Victims Vulnerability Migration Suffering Natural disasters