Ioane Teitiota loses case to stay in New Zealand, after arguing that homeland of Kiribati was being destroyed by climate change
A man from Kiribati, a Pacific island threatened by rising sea levels, has failed in an attempt to become the world's first climate change refugee.
A New Zealand judge dismissed Ioane Teitiota's case as "novel" but "unconvincing".
Lawyers had argued that New Zealand should not deport Mr Teitiota even though his visa had expired, because climate change was gradually destroying his home land.
The difficulties Mr Teitiota and his family would face in the tiny nation – which consists of about 30 atolls, most only a few metres above sea level – meant they should be recognised as refugees, the lawyers said.
In a written ruling handed down on Tuesday, High Court judge John Priestley acknowledged that Kiribati was suffering environmental degradation attributable to climate change, including storm surges, flooding and water contamination.