Priestley said the UN Refugee Convention stated that a refugee must fear persecution if they returned home, a criteria Teitiota did not meet.
"The economic environment of Kiribati might certainly not be as attractive to the applicant and his fellow nationals as the economic environment and prospects of Australia and New Zealand," he said.
"But... his position does not appear to be different from that of any other Kiribati national."
The judge rejected the argument from Teitiota's legal team that he was being "persecuted passively" by the environment because climate change was a threat to him that the Kiribati government was powerless to control.
"Novel and optimistic though these submissions are, they are unconvincing and must fail," Priestley wrote.
"On a broad level, were they to succeed and be adopted in other jurisdictions, at a stroke, millions of people who are facing medium-term economic deprivation, or the immediate consequences of natural disasters or warfare, or indeed presumptive hardships caused by climate change, would be entitled to protection under the Refugee Convention."