The subject of climate change is already a sensitive issue, but there is plenty of potential for it to become much more volatile in the future.For example, what if Pacific nations could sue Australia for a breach of human rights because of our high carbon emissions?University of Wollongong PhD researcher Keely Boom asked this question in her winning entry into an international law competition run by Oxfam International.The competition, designed to show how international law could protect people from climate change, asked entrants to create a scenario involving a country strongly affected by climate change.Based on this, Ms Boom said Australia had the possibility of facing legal action in the future if climate change and subsequent damage to other countries' environments is caused by our way of life."I think it's definitely possible, if it's not brought under control and dealt with by the international community," she said."Climate change is really about human beings. The real issue is what it means for people. "A report recently claimed that 300,000 people each year are dying because of climate change. So it affects the right to life, which is the most fundamental human right." However, Ms Boom said there were complex issues to be overcome before this kind of action could become possible.Ms Boom said an internship in the legal unit of the international office of Greenpeace had helped foster an interest in the subject of climate change."It exposed me to the legal issues surrounding climate change," she said."I've always been interested in human rights and the environment."Ms Boom now hopes to complete her PhD as quickly as possible so that she can extend her experience working in this area."I want to continue in my activism."Hopefully (I can) be part of change," she said.