Climate Change
Environment & Migration
Global Issues
UN News
 view from inside one of the tents the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
view from inside one of the tents the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). | Sophia Paris/UN Photo/Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

As hundreds of decision-makers were gathered in Marrakech to agree new standards for global migration, the United Nations climate change conference ‘COP24’ looked at concrete ways to help countries tackle large-scale displacement caused by the impacts of climate change, including water scarcity, flooding, storms and rising sea levels. 

“Changing weather, floods and droughts in many places increasingly threaten people’s safety and livelihoods. That is leading a lot of families to have to consider whether they can stay where they are, or try to live somewhere else,” said Koko Warner, who leads on migration issues at the UN climate change convention (UNFCCC) secretariat. 

While it is very challenging to quantify the number of people who have been displaced by climate change, today, over 258 million people live outside their country of origin. Global warming is expected to increase this number as its impacts increasingly render some areas of the planet uninhabitable.

“For example, if you’re a farmer and the rains fail you for several years in a row, you may all of a sudden lose not only your access to food, but your entire source of income, and the well-being of your entire family can become very precarious,” explained Ms. Warner.

Currently, four times more people in the world are displaced by extreme weather events than they are by conflict.

To address this, a set of recommendations to help countries cope with climate-change-related displacement was presented at COP24, the key two-week meeting being held in Katowice, Poland, to define the way forward on the commitments made by all countries for climate action in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“We’ve come a long way. Climate change migration was more or less absent from discussions until 2010, in Cancún. In Paris, five years later, the countries asked for some recommendations on how to better prepare and respond to this phenomenon, and in Katowice, now, we are hoping they will adopt them,” Ms. Warner explained. 

The various recommendations delivered to the 197 parties to the UN Climate Change Convention include proposals on contingency planning, consultation and data analysis, and cooperation among countries. The document was prepared by a Task Force on Displacement and presented on Saturday, 8. December, for endorsement by the technical delegates of the Member States. The following week they will be presented for adoption at ministry-level. 

“The goal is really to help countries understand the scale of what is coming and really prepare for it,” UNFCCC’s climate vulnerabilities expert noted. “It’s really about finding ways to reduce the suffering and ensure the safety, dignity of the people at risk of displacement in the face of climate change.”

These discussions were taking place just two days before the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration – the first-ever UN global agreement for a common approach to international migration – to be held in Marrakech, this Monday and Tuesday (10. and 11. December).

The recommendations vary in size and their criticality will depend on contexts. On planning, for example, one of the recommendations includes suggestions like forecast based finance which would enable communities who are facing natural disasters to prepare adequately. Another recommendation made is to focus on data collection and risk analysis to better map and understand human mobility. 

The document insists on the need to include and ensure the participation of affected communities every step of the way, so they feel empowered and well-informed when making decisions about their lives.

“We are very pleased with how far this topic has moved in the discussions, and we hope the countries will use the recommendations,” said Ms. Warner. “The real impact,” she noted, “will only be measured through the steps countries take to avoid and minimize unnecessary suffering, and address the risks involved in climate-related displacement.” 

 

[This article originally appeared on news.un.org]

 

Source:
UN News
Climate Diplomacy
Global Issues
Lou del Bello, URBANET

At COP24, India-based Sheela Patel from SPARC talked to Lou del Bello about how climate change affects people in informal settlements the most – and about strategies to address their special needs.

Climate Change
Security
Global Issues
Raquel Munayer, adelphi

Climate change has been identified and recognized as a security issue and a threat multiplier by the international community, and climate security is now an integral part of security agendas in key international fora from New York to The Hague and Munich. As 2019 kicks off, action and implementation on climate security take centre stage.

Climate Change
Security
Europe
Planetary Security Initiative

Initiated in 2015, the French Ministry for the Armed Forces organized the first international conference “Defence and climate: what are the stakes?”. Since then, the Ministry has been constantly adapting and developing its capacity of anticipation.

Climate Diplomacy
Security
Global Issues
Benjamin Pohl and Stella Schaller, adelphi

On 25 January 2019, the UN Security Council held an open debate to discuss the security implications of climate-related disaster events. The meeting, initiated by the Dominican Republic, underscored the global nature of climate-related disasters. Most speakers highlighted the need for better climate risk management as an important contribution to safeguarding international peace and security. The debate marks the beginning of a year in which climate security ranks high on the UN’s agenda.