Over the past decade, international organizations (IOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have increasingly focused their efforts on the plight of environmental migrants in both industrialized and developing countries. However, to date very few studies have analysed the influence and rhetoric of advocacy groups in the debates on environmental migration.
The concept of ‘environmental refugees’, or ‘climate refugees’, has been progressively abandoned, as having no legal basis. The author argues that there are good reasons to use the term and raises some key political issues for everyone working in the field. The article revisits one of the great controversies of the "climate refugee" phrase. More importantly, it also raises key political and philosophical questions.