7 ways climate change affects refugees

Climate change refugees


1. Almost every second, someone is displaced by the effects of climate change or natural disaster.


41 people a minute are forced from their homes by extreme weather events. Floods, storms, heatwaves and drought will continue to worsen as temperatures rise, affecting people all over the world.


2. By 2050, there could be as many as one billion people displaced by rising temperatures.



Chris Madden climate change refugees


3. People fleeing climate change do not have the same legal rights as people fleeing war or persecution.


There is not currently adequate protection in international law for people fleeing the effects of climate change. They are “climate refugees”, but the refugee protection regime hasn’t yet been extended to cover them.


4. Those already displaced by violence, conflict or poverty are more vulnerable to secondary displacement as a result of climate change.


These people, who already have little choice over where they end up living, often reside in climate change ‘hotspots’ which expose them to secondary displacement.





5. By 2100, melting ice sheets in Greenland and West Antarctica could lead to a rise in sea level of almost two metres.


This would affect lower-lying cities in the US such as New York, flooding people’s homes and forcing them to move elsewhere.


6. Also by 2100, sea levels in Bangladesh’s coastal region are predicted to rise by as much as a metre.


This alone would displace 31.5 million people.


7. Rising temperatures could make places like Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar uninhabitable by 2071, leaving thousands of people with no choice but to flee.







Climate change is the most urgent threat of our time. People shouldn’t be forced to flee their homes because we are failing to stop its effects, but they are. We are the last generation that can act to prevent this.