Experts warn of looming climate change migration crisis
A major event investigating the impact of climate change on mass migration will bring together key environment and population experts tomorrow, Tuesday 29 April, to discuss how climate change will affect migration patterns and how policy-makers should respond. The conference organised by the IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) will take place from 9:00am-6:30pm at The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB.
Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London and a respected authority on migratory flows and climate change, will be addressing the conference, along with the Secretary of State for the Environment, Hilary Benn, the Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Kim Howells, and Lord Nicholas Stern, former Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank.
Other speakers will include Craig L Johnstone, the Deputy High Commissioner for the UNHCR, Brunson McKinley, the Director General for International Organization for Migration, Professor Norman Myers, University of Oxford, Richard Black, Co-Director of the Sussex Centre for Migration Research and Dr Rajendra K Pachauri, Chairman for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Commenting before the conference, Jean Lambert MEP said:
"Recent research by the European Commission has found that although the immediate effects of global warming will be most painfully felt by the poor in south Asia, the Middle East, central Asia, Africa and Latin America, Europe will not escape the consequences.
"One of the greatest impacts of climate change that we are going to see in the near future will be widespread human displacement as changing weather patterns cause crops to fail and create food and water shortages. What is unknown is when and where these human crises will unfold and how best to cope with the resulting migration. Notes to Editors
"There are already an estimated 25 million environmental refugees in the world, but they are not recognised as such by the international community and thus have no legal protection. Closing borders is not a long-term solution. Countries that have the greatest responsibility for creating climate change also have a responsibility to deal with the casualties."
In 2002, Jean Lambert produced the report Refugees and the Environment: The Forgotten Element of Sustainability. It draws attention to the high level of migration resulting from deteriorating environmental conditions around the world, and points out that many so-called 'economic migrants' are in fact environmental refugees.
News type: Press Releases