Tag Archives: climate refugees

For World Refugee Day: Protecting climate refugees

International awareness of the climate emergency has arguably never been higher. The move to decarbonise much of our economy and society to tackle the causes of global warming at source has begun to accelerate. In the UK, we are even starting to have entire days and weeks where our national grid is powered without the use of harmful fossil fuels.

All of this action is taken to avoid the mass loss of life, livelihoods, jobs, and the environment that the climate crisis threatens. Other people living around the world are, tragically, already living with the consequences.
Of the estimated 65 million displaced persons around the world, 20 million are believed to have been displaced as a result of the climate crisis.

Currently, the United Nations operates under the 1951 Refugee Convention’s definition of refugees and legitimate claims of asylum. Like those fleeing war or famine, climate refugees have been displaced both as a direct and indirect consequence of global warming. Permanent destruction of crop yields, for example, has made living and working in some areas impossible.

Displacement and mass movement puts pressure on natural resources, services, and can ignite political tensions. Despite this, those seeking safety following displacement as a result of the climate emergency are not legally protected. As the climate crisis inevitably worsens year on year, millions more become at risk of being displaced with no protection; the vulnerable becoming more vulnerable.

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