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Climate change affects mainly the most vulnerable

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Climate disasters worsen poverty, hunger and access to resources, increasing violence and conflict.

Environmental catastrophes, caused mostly by climate change, force thousands of people to leave their homes and flee their countries, becoming climate refugees.

However, not everyone who flees home due to weather causes may be a climate refugee, as some asylum seekers are not granted refugee status or face difficulties trying to do so.

This occurs when the government of the country in which refuge is sought considers that the lives of these refugees are not in danger in their places of origin and, therefore, they can return to their destination, even if their houses have been destroyed.

As the European Parliament points out, one of the biggest international problems is the lack of clarity when it comes to establishing what a climate refugee is and the type of protection they should receive, compared to those refugees who flee their homes due to political conflicts and wars.

Climate change worsens with each passing year, and this causes more and more natural disasters that cause the abandonment of places that are flooded, devastated or burned. That is why it is crucial that both the European Parliament and the rest of the world come to an agreement on climate refugees and what tools to use to help those who lose everything when nature turns against the planet.

There may be those who believe that global warming affects us all equally, no matter where or how we live, but the reality is that this phenomenon affects more those people who are in a situation of vulnerability; worsens poverty, famine, access to resources and, above all, violence and conflicts.

Experts say that in the year 2050 there could be about 216 million climate refugees, if urgent measures are not taken. By then, the temperature of planet Earth will already have increased by at least 2 °C.

Countries already in conflict, as in the case of Afghanistan with the arrival of the Taliban, or in Syria with a war that lasts more than 12 years, are likely to suffer from global warming more harshly for not having measures in times of emergency.

Underdeveloped countries have less capacity to recover from environmental disasters due to lack of resources and foreign aid. In most cases it affects the electricity supply, communication routes, homes and supplies.

How to help climate refugees

Feeling sorry for what climate refugees are experiencing is not enough, it is crucial that as a society - apart from government institutions - we do our own bit.

There are different ways to help, but it all starts from education; it is crucial to learn about the situation that climate migrants live and what their reality is. On the other hand, we must try to reduce our carbon footprint; Although it may not seem like it, the simple fact of reducing the time we spend in the shower helps. But it is also important that -if we can do it- we donate to the organizations that are in charge of working hand in hand with refugees.

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