The Worrying Increase of Climate Migration

Coral colours sky with shadows of people walking to the left, indicating migration

[Image by Pexels]

Migration. The lesser talked about affect of the climate crisis. The shrinking of borders. The collapse of homes. Disappearing towns and cities. Disaster isn’t decades away, it’s happening right now in countries that cannot even be described as ‘far-flung’.

This is serious. It’s devastating people’s lives and more often than not those people whose lives have been ripped away from them, it isn’t even their actions that have caused this. It is the ones in the wealthy countries. The ones that will never experience or have to migrate to countries due to a devastating climate disaster.

The reality is you don’t even have to dig too deep to read the next saddening tale of populations escaping from their homes. A useful infographic by Intersectional Environmentalist on Instagram describes climate migration in its simplest form; people who are forced to leave their homes due to sudden and drastic changes to the environment.

Climate migration in its simplest form: people who are forced to leave their homes due to sudden and drastic changes to the environment.

It is often stated that just 100 global corporations created 71% of the world’s carbon emissions. These emissions causing catastrophic disasters and thus forcing whole countries to migrate. An estimated 272 million people internationally are migrating away from drought-filled, water-logged, or disaster-stricken countries. This is only going to increase as extreme weather battered our communities.

Devastatingly, this is only going to increase, with every extreme hurricane, warming of global temperatures and sea level rises. Sadly (and infuriatingly) Climate Refugees are not legally recognised by the state and it does not count as a legitimate reason to seek asylum in a country. This is yet another harsh reminder of how little is actually being done to recognise the climate crisis by governments globally.

Migration is an incredibly sad and gut-wrenchingly devastating prospect, that is only going to become reality for more and more countries.

A recent BBC documentary visually demonstrates (from around 30 minutes onwards) how climate migration is affecting people right now. Along with descriptions of how rising sea levels are swallowing up communities, leaving people with nowhere to live. It’s heartbreaking and utterly unimaginable. I recommend you watch it if you can to truly understand the scale.

Read more articles relating to the climate crisis on The Low Waste Weekly.

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