Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the increasing concern of the impact climate change on vulnerable nations, the creation of environmental refugees and the notion of government accountability towards addressing issues associated with supporting environmental refugees. Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on the Second Reading, in the Australian Federal Parliament, of the proposed Migration (Climate Refugees) Amendment Bill 2007 and the associated replies by the various political actors within the senate. The main method used to review this material is discourse analysis. Findings: The key finding from this initial review is that while all actors within the senate agree the Australian government does have a responsibility to contributing to addressing the issues around environmental refugees their views on the level of accountability varies. This indicates any mechanism developed to contribute to the discharge of this accountability will be shaped by differing views and foci of the participating actors. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the limited literature on environmental refugees and the associated level of government accountability.