UN refugee agency calls for action to address climate change's effects on displaced population

(Xinhua) 10:47, December 06, 2023

DUBAI, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Monday called for immediate and collective action to confront climate change's profound effects on displaced populations and their host communities at the ongoing COP28 climate conference.

According to the UNHCR, the ripple effects of climate change intensify the hardship experienced by displaced communities throughout the world. The convergence of conflict and climate change critically impedes their ability to secure safety, essential resources, and sustainable livelihoods.

"The climate emergency is punishing displaced people three times. It tears them from their homes, it compounds their crisis in exile and destroys their homeland, preventing them from returning," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. "This harsh reality highlights the way the climate emergency exacerbates displacement and human suffering."

Climate change reveals a stark injustice as those who have contributed least to environmental degradation suffer the most. In a concerning trend, nearly 60 percent of the world's displaced find themselves in countries most vulnerable to the impact of climate change, such as Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Myanmar, according to the UNHCR.

"As we convene at COP28, prioritizing the plight of the most vulnerable is imperative. Our collective commitment to climate action must involve robust measures to protect those affected," Grandi said.

"The inclusion of those most affected is vital to our discussions and responses. The experiences and solutions of displaced communities deserve a significant place in the global climate discussion," he added.

COP28, or the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is being held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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