What makes a person a climate refugee?
Last weekend I attended the national ‘Climate Refugees’ conference in London – it is becoming clear that the time is ripe for action around this agenda.
A joint letter in the Guardian (10 January) from the Campaign Against Climate Change and Friends of the Earth sets out the scale of the challenge, with climate change and enforced migration increasingly linked, ‘yet those displaced have no legal standing under existing international refugee and asylum law.’
Trump’s climate denial is just one of the forces that points towards greater suffering because of the inaction of governments. Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Johnson is lauded as a leading climate sceptic at the heart of the UK government.
Friends of the Earth have analysed policy and politics around climate refugees, and are campaigning for protection for those forced to leave their country by climate impacts – people all too often branded simply as “economic migrants” – they explore the issues here in an excellent blog.
SCA will be bringing this important debate to our city and region, in collaboration with the many great organisations, such as City of Sanctuary Sheffield and SYMAAG, working locally to support refugees and migrants, and with trade unions such as Unite and PCS supporting migrant workers in the workplace. We think the issues around climate refugees are a touchstone for our time – how we protect our planet AND give all people the right to a safe home.