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Posted Thu Oct 17 2013: from Planet Ark:
Pacific man seeks climate change asylum in New Zealand
A Pacific Island man trying to flee rising seas and environmental risks caused by global warming in his home country of Kiribati asked a New Zealand court on Wednesday to let him pursue his claim as a climate change refugee. The low-lying South Pacific island nation has a population of more than 100,000, but its average height of 2 m. (6-1/2 feet) above sea level makes it one of the countries most vulnerable to rising waters and other climate change effects. Ioane Teitiota, 37, asked New Zealand's High Court in Auckland to let him appeal a decision that refused him asylum on the grounds his claim fell short of the legal criteria, such as fear of persecution or threats to his life. Teitiota, who came to New Zealand in 2007 and has three children born there, said he and his family would suffer serious harm if forced to return to Kiribati, because there was no land to which he could safely return.
[Read more stories about: anthropogenic change, rising sea level]
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