We are writing this letter to share our environmental and humanitarian concerns and draw your attention to the urgent issue of environmental migrants.
Human driven climate change is one of the most pressing issues for any country in the world. Regardless of its political recognition or not, human induced climate change is reality and will be unstoppable for centuries.
Beside the need for direct action to preserve an environment that allows sustainable prosperity for our own and future generations, we must also recognise the devastating effects inflicted on human life elsewhere in the world.
It is estimated that there are 25.5 million environmental migrants in the world and the Environmental Justice Foundation expect this to rise to 150 million by 2050; they are currently unrecognised by any convention, but the evidence of this shocking phenomena remains unavoidable.
The UNHCR warns us that climate change – causing droughts, desertification, sea level rise, extreme weather, conflicts over natural resources like drinking water etc. - will soon become the biggest driver of population displacement and forced migration.
The human face of climate change can be clearly seen in patterns of migration flow; UNITED, the pan-European network of over 560 organisations, have documented 13.621 known migrant deaths as a result of EU immigration policy. This List of Deaths clearly illustrates that at least 4.426 of these deaths are of migrants originating from the Sahel, a region of Sub-Saharan Africa devastated by two major droughts over the past 40 years, causing famine and civil war.
Ultimately every single one of us will have to pay the bill of human driven climate change, but the first and most to suffer are the ones that didn't cause it in first place and can not protect themselves from its implications. It is crucial to understand how the climate and environment shape the political, economic and social factors that force people to seek refuge in Europe.
Hence, it is not only needed that we reach a fair and effective global agreement on climate change, but also that we take our responsibility and show active global solidarity by legally recognising environmentally displaced people and communities.
Therefore, we call on you to put this issue on the European policy agenda and to urge the set up of a proposal for an international convention that defines and protects the rights of environmentally displaced persons as well as a separate funding mechanism.
Human driven climate change is a global problem, we demand a global solution!
You can address your mail to:
The European Parliament’s Human Rights Unit and/or Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs