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THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY AND ASYLUM SEEKERS

July 24, 2021 1:18 PM

The climate emergency represents an existential threat to people and communities all over the world. One of the fiercest and growing consequences of this crisis is the mass displacement of people as a result of both the direct and indirect impacts of global warming. Whilst this affects us all, vulnerable people face the largest burden as a result of the worsening crisis:

  • Destruction of homes and livelihoods due to increase of natural disasters.
  • Threats to jobs and economic stability, particularly in agricultural settings as a result of changing climates and environments.
  • Scarcity of natural resources, including land, food, and drinking water.
  • Political tensions, violence, and military conflict as a result of these unstable conditions.

Climate change threatens to vastly increase the number of displaced people around the world. 20 million people every year have to leave their homes and move to other areas in their countries as a result of the environmental and economic consequences of the climate crisis. Without action, this situation threatens to deteriorate further and faster.

Not only is displacement within borders increasing, more and more vulnerable people have to cross national boundaries to escape the devastating impact of the climate crisis. However, current international laws do not recognise climate refugees, leaving these people and their families effectively stateless and vulnerable to people trafficking and criminal gangs.

International aid groups are waking up to the reality of disaster displacement and climate refugees, but more needs to be done by law and policy makers to keep these vulnerable people safe and to open up legitimate paths to asylum.

Sadly the Nationality and Borders Bill which has just had its second reading in Parliament does not recognise this and indeed, if passed, will criminalise asylum seekers.

LD4SOS along with other organisations (see our Useful Links page) will try to keep you updated on how you can campaign to get this Bill amended.