IPCC Report Warns of Climate Crisis’ Impact on Displacement, Humanitarian Emergency

Please see below statement from Refugees International Senior Advocate and Climate Displacement Program Manager Kayly Ober:

“The latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paints a grim picture: the magnitude of existing and coming climate change impacts is much larger than previously acknowledged and is already contributing to displacement and humanitarian crises around the world.

The IPCC’s scientists found with high confidence that climate and weather extremes are driving displacement of people in all regions of the globe. They are also confident that in the mid- to long-term, displacement will increase with intensification of heavy precipitation and associated flooding, tropical cyclones, drought and—increasingly—sea level rise. For organizations working on the ground with displaced communities, this assessment is not unobvious. However, it is the first time that scientists have agreed with a high degree of confidence on climate change’s role in displacement.

The report also shows that increasing weather and climate extremes have already exposed millions of people to acute food insecurity. This has had a detrimental effect on frontline communities that depend on natural ecosystems for their livelihoods, including especially indigenous peoples, small-scale food producers, and low-income households.

Refugees International welcomes the report’s inclusion of references to “losses and damages,” or impacts that surpass the limits of adaptation, despite political opposition to do so. The report makes clear that financial support for climate adaptation continues to be inadequate; and that without increased and targeted support for adaptation, “losses and damages” become more and more likely for at-risk communities.

This report is a clarion call to the international community and countries most responsible for carbon emissions to adhere to pledges to mobilize $100 billion per year for adaptation measures. The report also reinforces the urgent need for the United States and others to establish safe and legal pathways for people displaced by climate-related events to countries less affected by the worst impacts of climate change.

The international response to the war in Ukraine has showed us that rapid collective action is possible. The EU and United States have both showed a willingness to welcome people and offer protection for those fleeing circumstances that threaten their lives. This sort of initiative and resolve must continue to address the climate crisis.”

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Refugees International’s Vice President for Strategic Outreach Sarah Sheffer at ssheffer@refugeesinternational.org or +1 202 540 7029.

PHOTO CAPTION: A young woman holds a ‘There is no Planet B’ sign at a demonstration in Toulouse, France on November 6, 2021. These demonstrations were organized throughout COP26 in Glasgow (Scotland) to put a maximum pressure on politicians, industries and companies. (Photo by Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via Getty Images)