Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Entering the era of climate change refugees

Climate change has many scary faces so it's really no surprise that many environmentalists refer to climate change as the biggest environmental threat of our time. Climate change however doesn't have only negative environmental impact but also negative economic and social impact because it will very likely cause huge migrations of people in years to come.

The cocktail of extreme weather events and environmental disasters will be too difficult to swallow for many people and they will be forced to become (climate change) refugees and leave their homes in search for more habitable areas.

According to the latest report coming from Asia more than 30 million people across Asia were displaced by environmental disasters and weather-related events in 2010 as the region becomes increasingly vulnerable to effects of climate change.

The extreme weather events and different environmental disasters are becoming more frequent driving people away from these areas. Floods, droughts and major storms will continue to grow in frequency and strength in years to come leaving many millions more without a roof over their head.

The Asian Development Bank estimates that tens of millions more people across Asia and the Pacific will be forced to migrate to other regions driven away by the ever-growing climate change impact.

The countries need to give much more thoughts to adaptations to changes in climate such as building sea walls and restoring the mangrove swamps to reduce storm surges. These measures that are necessary will cost billions of dollars and poor countries won't be able to introduce them without the help of the rich world.

Population migrations as well as displacement of people are really another disaster waiting to happen because they will lead to economic volatility, regional conflict, and even wars.

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