"What's really important here, and why it's quite a landmark case, is that the committee recognised that without robust action on climate at some point in the future it could well be that governments will, under global human rights law, be prohibited from sending people to places where their life is at risk or where they would face inhuman or degrading treatment", said Prof Jane McAdam, director of the Kaldor centre for worldwide refugee law at the University of New South Wales.
The UN ruling is not binding but could open the door for future climate change asylum seekers, asylum advocates said.
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change previously warned that Kiribati was one of the six Pacific island nations most threatened by rising sea levels.
"It is the Committee's position that the right to life includes the right of individuals to enjoy a life with dignity, free from acts or omissions that are expected to cause unnatural or premature death", the committee said.
There was still time, the committee said, for the Republic of Kiribati to intervene and protect and potentially relocate its citizens to avoid the threat of rising sea levels.
Teitiota, who is in his 40s, and his wife left Kiribati for New Zealand in 2007.
"Reports indicate that sudden-onset events are discrete occurrences that have an immediate and obvious impact over a period of hours or days, while slow-onset effects may have a gradual, adverse impact on livelihoods and resources over a period of months to years", it continues.
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"Without robust national and worldwide efforts", the committee warned, "the effects of climate change in receiving states may expose individuals to a violation of their rights under articles 6 or 7 of the Covenant, thereby triggering the non-refoulement obligations of sending states".
"The ruling says if you have an immediate threat to your life due to climate change, due to the climate emergency, and if you cross the border and go to another country, you should not be sent back, because you would be at risk of your life, just like in a war or in a situation of persecution", Grandi said.
The Committee also highlighted the role that the worldwide community must play in assisting countries adversely affected by climate change.
"Moreover, the Committee needs to handle critical and significantly irreversible issues of climate change, with the approach that seeks to uphold the sanctity of human life". "It is therefore imperative that urgent action is taken to keep the temperature rise as low as possible and no higher than 1.5°C". He said that as Kiribati was predicted to be uninhabitable in 10 to 15 years, his life was endangered by remaining there.
Rising sea levels will eventually wipe islands like Kiribati off the maps.
"The fact that this [difficulty growing crops and accessing safe drinking water] is a reality for many others in the country, does not make it any more dignified for the persons living in such conditions".