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One person is displaced every second by our warming planet. Where will they go?

Rohingya Muslim women, stand holding their sick children to seek medical assistance across the border in Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 Source: AP/Dar Yasin

As crucial climate talks fast approach in Glasgow, it's estimated one person is displaced from their home every second by the impacts of global warming. Rising sea levels, fires, floods and other disasters will increasingly leave people with no choice but to move. But where will they go? Under what laws and policies? And with what protections?

As leaders debate the key target to reduce greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2050, there's another daunting milestone that date represents. 

According to the World Bank, by 2050 climate change would have forced no fewer than 216 million people across six world regions to relocate. But with concerted action now, it estimates the scale of climate migration could be reduced by as much as 80 percent.

The Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law is hosting a conference addressing the questions of global warming displacement. Centre director Professor Jane McAdam says it's an issue that's close to home.


 

Highlights 

  • According to Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, Centre Director Professor Jane McAdam, disaster-related movement now makes up 75 per cent of internal displacement compared to the 25 per cent caused by war or conflict.
  • As climate change exacerbates these pressures, there is increased potential more people will need to move to avoid displacement, or seek refuge away from their home.
  • Experts have previously warned around 42 small states or countries could literally go under water without action on climate change

 

"We know already that 80 per cent of disaster-related displacement over the past decade has occurred within the south Asia Pacific region. So that's millions and millions of people and last year, for example, globally, there were 31 million people displaced by the impact of a disaster."

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