State Extinction Through Climate Change

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter captures the controversy on ‘state extinction’ through climate change. Sea-level rise and changing weather patterns, among other impacts of climate change, are likely to cause some low-lying Small-Island Developing States (SIDS) to be uninhabitable in the coming decades, even before SIDS territory ‘sinks’ out of sight. Academic debates have offered various proposals on what might happen to the remnants of the states concerned, if they continue to exist at all, and the rights of these territorially orphaned entities under various regimes. Sharon concludes that there is one and only one legal avenue for the—very slight—possibility that statehood would continue after the land is gone.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDebating Climate Law
EditorsBenoit Mayer, Alexander Zahar
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781108879064
ISBN (Print)9781108840156
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Public International Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Law


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