Climate Change Produced Millions of Environmental Refugees in 2012

Climate Change Produced Millions of Environmental Refugees in 2012

Climate change around the world has created a new category of people known as environmental refugees. Millions of people worldwide are fleeing their homes because of environmental disasters. Here are some issues that environmental refugees suffer from:

  • Environmental refugees are a new phenomena, therefore, they are usually not recognized as refugees. Currently these refugees have few rights.
  • International law provides protection only for political refugees, thus, climate and environmental refugees are inadequately covered.
  • No clear guidelines to the type of support these refugees are supposed to receive.
  • There loss is a long-term loss. Political refugees might have the chance to return to their homes after violence subdues. However, if environmental refugees are fleeing a rise in sea level, returning home may not be an option.

The image above shows that 32 million people were displaced by natural disasters throughout 2012.
98% of these displacements were related to climate change.

Let’s take a minute and think about that. 


4 thoughts on “Climate Change Produced Millions of Environmental Refugees in 2012

  1. Environmental refugees is a pressing issue, but we also can’t neglect those who have suffered much longer. How do you suggest we balance addressing the needs of the more recent phenomenon of increases in environmental refugees with the needs of refugees who have struggled with displacement for many, many years because of other factors, such as political unrest and persecution?

  2. Environmental refugees are a huge issue for sure! It’s so scary to think that people are being displaced right now, and that this is a problem that we cannot fix. I think that this issue need prevention and mitigation at this point. It’s a pertinent issue that requires action now, and I fear that action isn’t being taken effectively yet.

    • It’s crazy to think how little attention has been paid to the issue of environmental refugees to date. Like other forms of refugees, these people are helpless to their given circumstance and it astounds me that action has still not been taken on the issue. What do you think needs to happen before the world wakes up and decides to pay attention?

  3. Wow – that is a dramatic number. I did not know that. It makes me wonder if the current Canadian government knows it as well, because they seem to be pulling out of initiatives that would alleviate this concern. I hope that with the current flood experiences in Canada, Canadians will be more amenable to hearing about and assisting these climate-change impacted displaced people, now that there are more people close to home that have experienced it.

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