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.