Climate crisis and displaced persons

As Pope Francis declares, “we are in the midst of an emergency”. The continuing climate crisis threatens people’s fundamental rights, and displacement caused by climate change is increasing.

It displaced 24.9 million people in 2019,* and floods, landslides, fires, droughts, and hurricanes will cause further displacement in the future. By 2050, an estimated 250 million people will be affected by forced displacement, and the most vulnerable groups in society will continue to suffer the most.

*IDMC, Global Report on Internal Displacement 2020

Five points about climate migration

Climate displaced persons are not legally considered refugees under international refugee law.
Climate displaced persons are people who must leave their homes due to climate stressors.
The most vulnerable are likely to experience more pressure than others to migrate.
No one knows how many people will be climate displaced.
Climate migration affects all of Earth's inhabitants.

Source: United Nations University: Institute for Environment and Human Security.

Climate crisis

The climate crisis is not an abstract future threat. Warming of merely 1.5°C would cause global sea levels to rise by 0.77 metres by 2100, threatening cities and crop and pasture land around the world.

Projections based on current data predict a global temperature increase of 3-4°C by 2100.

Therefore, it is imperative to change course and work to limit global warming through low-carbon changes in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities; and by promoting renewable energy, green energy, restoring and expanding forests, sustainable agriculture, and stopping deforestation and the degradation of ecosystems.

There is still time. Together, we can!

Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods…

…It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.

– Pope Francis

Every one of us can still do something:

Don’t waste water and electricity.
Use a bicycle or take public transit.
If you have to buy a car, consider vehicles that meet the latest emissions standards.
If you have to buy household appliances, consider those that consume less energy.
Consider installing a solar thermal or photovoltaic system.
Educate yourself and your friends and acquaintances about the harmful effects of our current “lifestyles and models of production and consumption”.

Source: Pope Francis, Laudato Si: On care for our common home