• A Bangladeshi migrant becomes the first ’environmentally displaced’ person in France

    Last month, the appeals court for the Administrative Court of Bordeaux granted the status of “sick foreigner” to a Bangladeshi suffering from a respiratory disease, taking into account the air pollution in his country of origin. The decision was a first in France.

    Living in France for almost a decade, Sheel*, a Bangladeshi suffering from a respiratory disease, obtained his first “residence permit for sick foreigners” in 2015. The Toulouse-based 40-something suffers from a form of severe asthma that needs extensive treatment as well as severe sleep apnea, requiring him to sleep with breathing assistance every night.

    Despite his fragile state of health, in June 2019 his residence permit was denied renewal and he risked deportation, as the prefecture deemed that he could obtain appropriate treatment in Bangladesh. His request for family reunification with his wife, who remained in the country, was also rejected.

    A year later, the administrative court overturned the prefect’s order, arguing that while medicines to relieve asthma attacks are available for sale in Bangladesh, there is no substantive treatment. But the prefect did not stop there and took the case to the Bordeaux Court of Appeal, which on December 18, 2008, confirmed the first judgment and even added a relevant factor that was unheard of in France: that of air pollution in Bangladesh.
    Bangladesh among the most polluted countries in the world

    “This is the first time in France that a court has taken into account environmental criterion to justify a person benefitting from the status of a sick foreigner,” Ludovic Rivière, Sheel’s lawyer, told InfoMigrants. “Because it is obvious that the environmental conditions in Bangladesh today make it possible to affirm that it would be illusory for my client to be treated there, it would amount to sending him to certain death.”

    Indeed, in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, the level of fine particles in the air is six times higher than that allowed by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the WHO’s 2016 figures, some 572,600 deaths in Bangladesh are attributable to non-communicable diseases, 82% of which are due to exposure to indoor air pollution.

    Bangladesh also ranks 178th in the Environmental Performance Index, established by researchers at Yale and Columbia Universities to assess global air “quality,” ranking it among the most polluted countries in the world.

    In addition to the dangers of air pollution, the French court also recognized that the daily power cuts and high temperatures in Bangladesh did not allow the use of the night ventilation device that Sheel needs.
    Case law for ’climate refugee’ status?

    “Just as an AIDS patient cannot be sent back to a country where he cannot be treated or a death row inmate to a state that practices capital punishment, Sheel cannot be deported to Bangladesh. We are still a long way from making precedent and creating a real climate refugee status in France,” said Rivière, who now hopes that the government and the courts will consider the climate issue more systematically. “The candidates for climate exile are going to be more and more numerous, and politicians will have no choice but to address them quickly.”

    François Gemenne, a teacher and specialist in environment-related migration, also sees a “step in the right direction” but doubts that the decision of the Bordeaux Court of Appeal will be replicated. “Among the applicants for protection, there are many victims of environmental degradation, this plays a real role in the causes of departure, but it is very rarely invoked with the authorities, simply because it is almost never admissible and the applicants are well aware of this,” the researcher told InfoMigrants.

    According to Gemenne, while the Sheel case is unprecedented, environmental criteria are occasionally taken into account by the French justice system. “These are very sporadic decisions, every two or three years. There have already been several cases in which people could not be deported to their region of origin because it was too exposed to natural disasters. It should be possible to build a precedent from all these cases, except that the current political climate is not in favor of broadening the criteria for obtaining asylum,” he said.

    However, Gemenme said an existing tool could make it possible to change the situation. The Nansen Agenda, ratified by 110 countries including France in 2015, has the potential to define clear protection criteria for climate refugees, but it is not binding. France, which until December 2020 was at the head of the rotating presidency of the Platform on Disaster Related Displacement, has not announced any concrete measures in this regard.

    Sheel, for his part, said he was overwhelmed by his new status as a trailblazer in France. Relieved by the court’s decision, he wants simply to continue his life, as well as his work in the restaurant sector. His priority is restarting his family reunification file again in order to reunite with his wife, whom he has not seen for nine years.

    The United Nations Environment Programme predicts 250 million climate refugees worldwide by 2050.


    #France #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Bangladesh #réfugiés_bangladais #réfugiés_climatiques #réfugiés_environnementaux #pollution #pollution_de_l'air #titre_de_séjour_pour_étranger_malade #maladie #titre_de_séjour #statut #maladie_respiratoire #asthma

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • Debunking myths around the displacement-climate change connection

    Misconceptions about the link between climate change and displacement can hamper humanitarian assistance efforts and protection of people affected by disasters, the head of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre said Tuesday.

    IDMC director Alexandra Bilak said her organization has become increasingly concerned about misperceptions around the climate change-displacement narrative, which she said is fueled by “sensationalist” media reports.

    “Increasingly, the different factors driving slow onset environmental as well as social change become difficult to disentangle one from another,” Bilak said during a virtual event Tuesday. “The interaction of social, political, environmental, and economic factors means that climate change must be understood as just one factor in a complex system that generates and perpetuates displacement risk.”

    Too often, she said, the press takes data and figures from studies and reports out of context, oversimplifying what such numbers mean. The domination of these false narratives creates misinformation about the true causes of the challenge, she said, and therefore undermines dialogue about solutions that can be pursued by policymakers.

    “I’m always uncomfortable when I see climate activists making the claim that climate change will displace zillions of people who will become climate refugees, because that claim is just not based in science.”
    — François Gemenne, director of the Hugo Observatory, lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

    There is also too often a perception that displacement caused by disasters are easier to resolve than displacement caused by conflict.

    “The assumption that most people can return, can rebuild their home, and can recover soon after a disaster has struck means that some displaced people may drop off the radar and they will then miss out on some critically important assistance that is needed not just in the immediate aftermath of a disaster but also very much over the longer term,” Bilak said.

    There were more than 50.8 million people internally displaced around the world at the end of 2019, according to IDMC. There were nearly 25 million new displacements from disasters, while there were 8.5 million caused by conflict. Afghanistan, India, and Ethiopia had the largest total numbers of people internally displaced by disasters at the end of 2019, while Syria, Colombia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo had the largest total numbers internally displaced by conflict and violence.

    IDMC has tracked disaster displacement for 12 years, and Bilak said its evidence shows that displacement is generally not short-lived — but can be avoided.

    People tend to think of disasters as “inevitable,” she said, which gives the impression that displacement is natural and acceptable. This keeps the focus on preparedness and humanitarian assistance, Bilak said, rather than addressing structural, longer-term disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.

    This is particularly true when it comes to the myth of mass displacement caused by climate change to Europe or other Western countries, Bilak said. Centering the narrative on impact felt by wealthy receiving countries that have shown a tendency to close down their borders prevents any conversation about solutions and long-term resilience building. It also ignores the fact that the vast majority of people affected by climate or environmental events end up internally displaced rather than in another country.

    François Gemenne, director of the Hugo Observatory and lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said the narrative of “zillions” of people knocking on the door of Europe is “highly problematic.”

    “As lead author of the IPCC I’m always uncomfortable when I see climate activists making the claim that climate change will displace zillions of people who will become climate refugees, because that claim is just not based in science,” Gemenne said. “Most of the estimates that circulate in the press or on social networks are not based on robust estimates or robust models.”

    Although people may have good intentions, the narrative can be used to encourage governments to act against climate change as a deterrent to migration, not as the end goal itself, Gemenne said. Advocating for a reduction in emissions can instead lead to more border controls and restrictive migration policies, using people on the move as scapegoats for problems beyond their control that lead to displacement, he said.

    Trying to disentangle migration caused by climate change from other causes of displacement ignores the complexity of the entire phenomenon, Gemenne said. For example, environmental factors cannot easily be separated from economic ones.

    “The amount of money we are going to have in our bank accounts at the end of the month does not depend on the weather,” Gemenne said of the members of the virtual event panel. “But for most people on the planet, there is a direct linkage between the environmental conditions and their economic resources. And I think that we need to recognize that and that what we would label as an environmental problem is also for most people an economic problem.”

    Climate change is just one facet of the global ecosystemic crises being faced by the globe, said António Vitorino, director general of the International Organization for Migration.

    “We will, however, not be able to understand, let alone address, the different impacts of this environmental crisis unless we account for all its components and causes whether related to climate change or more broadly to the environment,” Vitorino said.

    “We must also remember that this environmental crisis is a social crisis. It is poverty, inequality and marginalization that determine people’s vulnerability.”


    #réfugiés_environnementaux #réfugiés_climatiques #changement_climatique #asile #migrations #réfugiés

  • La fermeture des frontières place les migrants à la merci du changement climatique

    Pour François Gemenne, si les migrations sont généralement présentées comme un constat d’échec face aux effets du changement climatique, elles constituent au contraire « une stratégie d’adaptation face à des sécheresses, des inondations, ou par anticipation de changements irréversibles comme la montée des océans. Dans certaines situations extrêmes, elles sont d’ores et déjà considérées comme telles, comme dans les petits États insulaires qui prévoient de déplacer leur population face au risque de submersion. »

    #politique_migratoire #climat #écologie #réfugiés_climatiques

  • Finally, Good News for Asylum Seekers in Italy. New Decree Rolls Back Some of the Worst Aspects of Immigration Policy

    It pledged last year to do so, and now the Italian government has restored some humanity to its immigration and asylum system. This week, the council of ministers adopted a decree that reverses many of the worst policies imposed by the previous interior minister and current leader of the anti-immigrant League Party, Matteo Salvini.

    The decree isn’t perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction.

    The decree, adopted October 5, essentially re-establishes in Italian law the residency permit on humanitarian grounds that Salvini abolished in 2018, now called “special protection.” This two-year permit is for people who don’t qualify for asylum, but who shouldn’t be sent away because they would face a risk of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment. The permit is also for people who have family and social links in Italy, or who suffer from serious physical or mental health issues. By one estimate, more than 37,000 people became undocumented since 2018 because humanitarian permits were abolished.

    Crucially, the decree allows people to convert this and other short-term residency permits into longer-term residency permits based on employment. This will help prevent people falling into undocumented status. The decree reduces detention pending deportation to three months from six.

    While the previous government restricted the nation’s reception system to recognized refugees and unaccompanied children, the new decree opens the doors to asylum seekers awaiting a decision. It also ensures asylum seekers have the right to register with the city hall where they live, since a Constitutional Court ruling this past July found the denial of this right made it “unjustifiably difficult for asylum seekers to access the services to which they are entitled.”

    One large blot on the decree is the failure to take a clear stand against criminalization of humanitarian activities. The government chose to reduce from 1 million to 50,000 euros, rather than eliminate, the noxious fines on ships that perform search-and-rescue at sea. Last year, six United Nations human rights authorities called on Italy to incentivize rather than discourage shipmasters from fulfilling their moral and legal obligation to respond to ships in distress. The current government has delayed disembarkations and impounded rescue vessels on administrative grounds.

    Parliament will have a chance to correct that, and make other improvements, when the decree is submitted for parliamentary oversight.


    #nouveau_décret #décret_salvini #Italie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Italie #130/2020 #decreto_immigrazione #décret #SPRAR #accueil #permis_de_séjour #protection_internationale #travail #protection_spéciale #protection_humanitaire #réfugiés_environnementaux #réfugiés_climatiques #sauvetage #Méditerranée #citoyenneté #naturalisation #SIPROIMI #hébergement

    ping @karine4 @isskein

    • In vigore il nuovo decreto in materia di immigrazione (D.L. n. 130 del 21 ottobre 2020): luci e ombre

      Oggi, 22 ottobre, è entrato in vigore il Decreto-legge n. 130/2020, pubblicato in Gazzetta ufficiale il 21 ottobre 2020 e recante “Disposizioni urgenti in materia di immigrazione, protezione internazionale e complementare, modifiche agli articoli 131-bis,391-bis, 391-ter e 588 del codice penale, nonché misure in materia di divieto di accesso agli esercizi pubblici ed ai locali di pubblico trattenimento, di contrasto all’utilizzo distorto del web e di disciplina del Garante nazionale dei diritti delle persone private della libertà personale.

      Atteso da svariati mesi e noto all’opinione pubblica come “decreto immigrazione”, il decreto interviene in svariate materie, modificando anzitutto i c.d. decreti sicurezza del 2018 e 2019, che avevano a loro volta modificato alcune norme contenute nel Testo unico sull’immigrazione (D. Lgs. n. 286/1998), nonché la legge n. 91/1992 in materia di cittadinanza e i D. Lgs. n. 25/2008 e D. Lgs. n. 142/2015 (attuativi della direttiva UE c.d. Procedure e della direttiva UE c.d. Accoglienza del Sistema europeo comune di asilo).

      In altre parole, il c.d. nuovo decreto immigrazione prevede una serie di modifiche, apportate a diverse fonti normative, su tematiche sensibili, che non si limitano alla disciplina in materia d’immigrazione, ma riguardano anche la protezione internazionale e nuove ipotesi di protezione speciale, il soccorso in mare, degli aspetti relativi alla disciplina in materia di cittadinanza e all’accoglienza dei richiedenti asilo.

      In materia di immigrazione, il decreto è intervenuto, anzitutto, sui permessi di soggiorno per motivi di lavoro. Alle categorie di permessi già convertibili, sono state aggiunte le nuove ipotesi permesso per protezione speciale, calamità, residenza elettiva, acquisto della cittadinanza o dello stato di apolide, attività sportiva, lavoro di tipo artistico, motivi religiosi e assistenza ai minori.

      Quanto poi alla protezione internazionale, il nuovo decreto ha stabilito delle modifiche procedurali e sostanziali alla previgente disciplina. Le prime hanno modificato le modalità di svolgimento degli esami prioritari, delle procedure accelerate, nonché della gestione delle domande reiterate in fase di esecuzione di un provvedimento di allontanamento. Sul piano sostanziale

      Inoltre, sono estese le categorie di soggetti che possono beneficiare di permessi di soggiorno per protezione speciale, che costituirà una sorta di nuova categoria residuale di protezione rispetto alle due forme di protezione internazionale (lo status di rifugiato e la protezione internazionale), tanto da far parlare, nei primi commenti, di un sostanziale ritorno alla categoria della precedente protezione umanitaria, pur sotto altra veste terminologica.

      Nella specie, la nuova normativa prevede che non possa essere espulso o respinto e piuttosto meriti protezione, per l’appunto speciale, non solo, come già era previsto sino ad oggi, la persona che rischiava di subire torture, ma anche due nuove ipotesi: i) chi rischia di subire trattamenti inumani o degradanti nel paese d’origine e ii) chi rischia la violazione del diritto al rispetto della propria vita privata e familiare nel territorio nazionale. Inoltre la durata del permesso di soggiorno per protezione speciale è stata ampliata da 1 anno a 2 anni.

      Infine, sempre in materia di protezione complementare, è stata ampliata la nozione del permesso di soggiorno per calamità naturale: attuale presupposto per la concessione del permesso è adesso la semplice esistenza di una situazione di “grave” calamità. In altre parole, non si richiede più che lo stato di calamità sia eccezionale e transitorio come in precedenza, in un probabile tentativo di apertura alla protezione dei c.d. migranti ambientali (normando quanto già preconizzato dalla giurisprudenza della Corte di Cassazione).

      Tra le note positive, viene altresì espressamente prevista l’iscrizione del richiedente protezione internazionale nell’anagrafe della popolazione residente.

      Quanto alla questione del soccorso in mare, in seguito alle pesanti critiche ricevute sul punto dal secondo decreto sicurezza, la nuova disciplina è intervenuta modificando il quadro dei divieti e dei limiti di navigazione per le imbarcazioni delle ONG. In particolare, il Ministro dell’interno, di concerto con il Ministro della difesa e dei trasporti ed informato il Presidente del Consiglio, può ancora limitare o vietare l’ingresso e il transito in acque territoriali a navi non militari o governative non commerciali. Tuttavia, il decreto prevede una deroga a tale divieto o limite di navigazione, nell’ipotesi di navi che abbiano effettuato soccorsi a norma delle convenzioni internazionali, e che abbiano comunicato le operazioni alle autorità competenti nazionali o del loro stato di bandiera.

      Negli altri casi, invece, di “inosservanza del divieto o del limite di navigazione”, è prevista la comminazione di multe che vanno da 10mila a 50mila euro. Si ricorda che, precedentemente al nuovo decreto, in caso di violazione del divieto di cui sopra, era prevista un’ammenda amministrativa, con un limite superiore all’attuale multa (fino a un milione per chi avesse salvato i migranti in mare). Infine, con il nuovo decreto, non è più previsto il sequestro dell’imbarcazione entrata in acque territoriali in maniera irregolare.

      Per quanto riguarda la normativa in materia di cittadinanza, il decreto ha modificato la legge n.91 del 1992, riducendo il tempo di attesa della risposta alla domanda per l’acquisto della cittadinanza italiana da quattro a tre anni, un risultato comunque insoddisfacente alla luce del fatto che la formulazione originaria della legge del 1992 stabiliva una durata di due anni (ed era stato aumentato a quattro anni dal decreto sicurezza del 2018 sopramenzionato). Inoltre non è abrogata la norma che prevede la revoca della cittadinanza per chi l’ha acquisita, in caso di condanna definitiva per reati collegati al terrorismo, creando una discriminazione odiosa rispetto a chi è cittadino italiano iure sanguinis.

      Infine, in materia di accoglienza, è stato creato il nuovo Sistema di accoglienza e integrazione, che sostituisce il SIPROIMI (Sistema di protezione per titolari di protezione internazionale e per minori stranieri non accompagnati), ritornando a un sistema simile ai vecchi SPRAR (Sistema di protezione per richiedenti asilo e rifugiati). Tuttavia, le funzioni di prima assistenza o soccorso verranno gestite nei centri governativi ordinari e straordinari istituiti dal Ministro dell’Interno, quindi attraverso i grandi e largamente disfunzionali centri di prima accoglienza che abbiamo imparato a conoscere. La successiva fase di accoglienza, invece, viene affidata agli enti locali e si articolerà in due livelli di servizi, distinti a seconda che si tratti di soggetti richiedenti protezione internazionale (per i quali la normativa torna appunto a prevedere forme di accoglienza in precedenza eliminate dal decreto sicurezza del 2018) ovvero titolari della stessa. Nel primo caso sono previsti servizi di assistenza sanitaria, sociale e psicologica nonché di mediazione linguistico-culturale, nel secondo caso si aggiungono servizi di integrazione del soggetto, tra cui l‘orientamento al lavoro e la formazione professionale. Inoltre, il decreto ha reso potenziali beneficiari dei suddetti servizi anche i titolari di una serie di permessi di soggiorno speciali (protezione speciale, protezione sociale, violenza domestica, calamità, particolare sfruttamento lavorativo, atti di particolare valore civile, casi speciali).

      Il nuovo decreto ha dunque nuovamente inciso sul precedente impianto normativo in materia di immigrazione e asilo riformando e, per lo più, abrogando le modifiche introdotte dai cosiddetti “decreti sicurezza”, pur mantenendone alcuni profili criticabili. I tempi di attesa per l’ottenimento della cittadinanza sopra evidenziati, così come il mantenimento della criminalizzazione del soccorso marittimo sono tra questi. In ogni caso, il contenuto può ritenersi complessivamente soddisfacente e il decreto è indubbiamente un passo verso l’apertura e un trattamento della politica migratoria quale evento strutturale e non meramente emergenziale.


  • A l’horizon des migrations

    Bienvenue dans cette nouvelle édition de "Nos géographies". Dès demain, vendredi 2 octobre, et jusqu’à dimanche, la géographie tient son Festival international à Saint-Dié-des-Vosges. France Culture en parle avec nos deux invités, #François_Gemenne et #Lucie_Bacon, qui discuteront migrations.

    Une édition certes un peu différente des précédentes éditions, sans doute dans sa forme, mais tout aussi riche et variée autour d’un thème fort, les climats. Nous vous avons proposé la semaine dernière, les regards croisés de géographes sur l’épidémie de Covid-19, tels qu’ils ont été rassemblés et seront présentés dans ces journées. Ce soir, nous partons à l’horizon des migrations. Nos deux invités, François Gemenne et Lucie Bacon, par des voies différentes et à bonne distance des discours politiques si souvent réducteurs, explorent la diversité des parcours de migrants en prêtant attention à leur complexité. Pour l’un, à la transformation des frontières sous l’effet de la mondialisation et du changement climatique, pour l’autre, aux stratégies mises en place par les femmes et les hommes engagés sur une route semée d’obstacles, en rappelant aussi des vérités parfaitement vérifiables et pourtant obstinément inaudibles.

    Lucie Bacon, doctorante en géographie Laboratoire Migrinter (CNRS), Poitiers et Laboratoire Telemme, université Aix-Marseille. Elle achève une thèse : « La fabrique du parcours migratoire : la « route des Balkans » au prisme de la parole des migrants », un travail de terrain au plus près des intéressés.

    François Gemenne, spécialiste des questions de géopolitique de l’environnement, invité à Saint-Dié pour présenter son dernier livre au titre explicite : On a tous un ami noir. Pour en finir avec les polémiques stériles sur les migrations, (Fayard, 2020). Il a été directeur exécutif du programme de recherche interdisciplinaire « Politiques de la Terre » à Sciences Po (Médialab), et est par ailleurs chercheur qualifié du FNRS à l’Université de Liège (CEDEM).


    A partir de la minute 44’24 François Gemenne parle de #réfugiés_climatiques / #réfugiés_environnementaux

    #paradigme_de_l'immobilité #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #im/mobilité #mobilité #idées_reçues #préjugés #frontières_ouvertes #fermeture_des_frontières #ouverture_des_frontières

    • On a tous un ami noir ; pour en finir avec les polémiques stériles sur les migrations

      Sans angélisme ni dogmatisme, ce livre apaisera le débat public sur le sujet de l’immigration, en l’éclairant de réflexions inédites : celles issues d’expériences étrangères, celles produites par la recherche et celles de l’auteur enfin, spécialiste de ces questions et lui-même étranger vivant en France depuis plus de douze ans. Pas une semaine ne s’écoule sans qu’éclate une nouvelle polémique sur les migrations : violences policières, voile dans l’espace public, discriminations, quotas, frontières... Les débats sur ces sujets sont devenus tendus, polarisés et passionnels, tandis que la parole raciste s’est libérée, relayée avec force par des activistes identitaires. Collectivement, on a accepté de penser les migrations à partir des questions posées par l’extrême-droite, en utilisant même son vocabulaire. Quant à nous, chercheurs, nous nous sommes souvent retrouvés réduits à devoir débusquer rumeurs et mensonges, qu’il s’agisse de dénoncer le mythe de l’appel d’air ou du grand remplacement. Nos sociétés resteront malades de ces questions tant qu’elles continueront à les envisager sous l’unique prisme des idéologies. C’est toute l’ambition de ce livre : montrer qu’il est possible de penser ces sujets de manière rationnelle et apaisée, en les éclairant de réflexions et de faits qui sont bien trop souvent absents des débats. En montrant, par exemple, que les passeurs sont les premiers bénéficiaires de la fermeture des frontières. Ou que la migration représente un investissement considérable pour ceux qui partent, alors qu’ils se retrouvent souvent décrits comme la « misère du monde ». Les questions d’identité collective doivent être des enjeux qui nous rassemblent, plutôt que des clivages qui nous opposent. À condition de reconnaître et d’affronter les problèmes structurels de racisme dans nos sociétés. Après tout, on a tous un ami noir.


      #livre #On_a_tous_un_ami_noir

    • Migrants : ouvrir les frontières, quelle idée ! Et pourtant...

      François Gemenne, enseignant et chercheur sur les politiques du climat et des migrations, vient de publier « On a tous un ami noir », chez Fayard. Un ouvrage en forme d’outil pour répondre aux idées trop vite convenues, dans le débat sur les migrations. Une manière depuis longtemps oubliée de penser cette épineuse question de société.


  • How Climate Migration Will Reshape America. Millions will be displaced. Where will they go?

    August besieged California with a heat unseen in generations. A surge in air-conditioning broke the state’s electrical grid, leaving a population already ravaged by the coronavirus to work remotely by the dim light of their cellphones. By midmonth, the state had recorded possibly the hottest temperature ever measured on earth — 130 degrees in Death Valley — and an otherworldly storm of lightning had cracked open the sky. From Santa Cruz to Lake Tahoe, thousands of bolts of electricity exploded down onto withered grasslands and forests, some of them already hollowed out by climate-driven infestations of beetles and kiln-dried by the worst five-year drought on record. Soon, California was on fire.

    This article, the second in a series on global climate migration, is a partnership between ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, with support from the Pulitzer Center. Read Part 1.

    Over the next two weeks, 900 blazes incinerated six times as much land as all the state’s 2019 wildfires combined, forcing 100,000 people from their homes. Three of the largest fires in history burned simultaneously in a ring around the San Francisco Bay Area. Another fire burned just 12 miles from my home in Marin County. I watched as towering plumes of smoke billowed from distant hills in all directions and air tankers crisscrossed the skies. Like many Californians, I spent those weeks worrying about what might happen next, wondering how long it would be before an inferno of 60-foot flames swept up the steep, grassy hillside on its way toward my own house, rehearsing in my mind what my family would do to escape.

    But I also had a longer-term question, about what would happen once this unprecedented fire season ended. Was it finally time to leave for good?

    I had an unusual perspective on the matter. For two years, I have been studying how climate change will influence global migration. My sense was that of all the devastating consequences of a warming planet — changing landscapes, pandemics, mass extinctions — the potential movement of hundreds of millions of climate refugees across the planet stands to be among the most important. I traveled across four countries to witness how rising temperatures were driving climate refugees away from some of the poorest and hottest parts of the world. I had also helped create an enormous computer simulation to analyze how global demographics might shift, and now I was working on a data-mapping project about migration here in the United States.

    So it was with some sense of recognition that I faced the fires these last few weeks. In recent years, summer has brought a season of fear to California, with ever-worsening wildfires closing in. But this year felt different. The hopelessness of the pattern was now clear, and the pandemic had already uprooted so many Americans. Relocation no longer seemed like such a distant prospect. Like the subjects of my reporting, climate change had found me, its indiscriminate forces erasing all semblance of normalcy. Suddenly I had to ask myself the very question I’d been asking others: Was it time to move?

    I am far from the only American facing such questions. This summer has seen more fires, more heat, more storms — all of it making life increasingly untenable in larger areas of the nation. Already, droughts regularly threaten food crops across the West, while destructive floods inundate towns and fields from the Dakotas to Maryland, collapsing dams in Michigan and raising the shorelines of the Great Lakes. Rising seas and increasingly violent hurricanes are making thousands of miles of American shoreline nearly uninhabitable. As California burned, Hurricane Laura pounded the Louisiana coast with 150-mile-an-hour winds, killing at least 25 people; it was the 12th named storm to form by that point in 2020, another record. Phoenix, meanwhile, endured 53 days of 110-degree heat — 20 more days than the previous record.

    For years, Americans have avoided confronting these changes in their own backyards. The decisions we make about where to live are distorted not just by politics that play down climate risks, but also by expensive subsidies and incentives aimed at defying nature. In much of the developing world, vulnerable people will attempt to flee the emerging perils of global warming, seeking cooler temperatures, more fresh water and safety. But here in the United States, people have largely gravitated toward environmental danger, building along coastlines from New Jersey to Florida and settling across the cloudless deserts of the Southwest.

    I wanted to know if this was beginning to change. Might Americans finally be waking up to how climate is about to transform their lives? And if so — if a great domestic relocation might be in the offing — was it possible to project where we might go? To answer these questions, I interviewed more than four dozen experts: economists and demographers, climate scientists and insurance executives, architects and urban planners, and I mapped out the danger zones that will close in on Americans over the next 30 years. The maps for the first time combined exclusive climate data from the Rhodium Group, an independent data-analytics firm; wildfire projections modeled by United States Forest Service researchers and others; and data about America’s shifting climate niches, an evolution of work first published by The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last spring. (See a detailed analysis of the maps.)

    What I found was a nation on the cusp of a great transformation. Across the United States, some 162 million people — nearly one in two — will most likely experience a decline in the quality of their environment, namely more heat and less water. For 93 million of them, the changes could be particularly severe, and by 2070, our analysis suggests, if carbon emissions rise at extreme levels, at least four million Americans could find themselves living at the fringe, in places decidedly outside the ideal niche for human life. The cost of resisting the new climate reality is mounting. Florida officials have already acknowledged that defending some roadways against the sea will be unaffordable. And the nation’s federal flood-insurance program is for the first time requiring that some of its payouts be used to retreat from climate threats across the country. It will soon prove too expensive to maintain the status quo.

    Then what? One influential 2018 study, published in The Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, suggests that one in 12 Americans in the Southern half of the country will move toward California, the Mountain West or the Northwest over the next 45 years because of climate influences alone. Such a shift in population is likely to increase poverty and widen the gulf between the rich and the poor. It will accelerate rapid, perhaps chaotic, urbanization of cities ill-equipped for the burden, testing their capacity to provide basic services and amplifying existing inequities. It will eat away at prosperity, dealing repeated economic blows to coastal, rural and Southern regions, which could in turn push entire communities to the brink of collapse. This process has already begun in rural Louisiana and coastal Georgia, where low-income and Black and Indigenous communities face environmental change on top of poor health and extreme poverty. Mobility itself, global-migration experts point out, is often a reflection of relative wealth, and as some move, many others will be left behind. Those who stay risk becoming trapped as the land and the society around them ceases to offer any more support.

    There are signs that the message is breaking through. Half of Americans now rank climate as a top political priority, up from roughly one-third in 2016, and three out of four now describe climate change as either “a crisis” or “a major problem.” This year, Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa, where tens of thousands of acres of farmland flooded in 2019, ranked climate second only to health care as an issue. A poll by researchers at Yale and George Mason Universities found that even Republicans’ views are shifting: One in three now think climate change should be declared a national emergency.

    Policymakers, having left America unprepared for what’s next, now face brutal choices about which communities to save — often at exorbitant costs — and which to sacrifice. Their decisions will almost inevitably make the nation more divided, with those worst off relegated to a nightmare future in which they are left to fend for themselves. Nor will these disruptions wait for the worst environmental changes to occur. The wave begins when individual perception of risk starts to shift, when the environmental threat reaches past the least fortunate and rattles the physical and financial security of broader, wealthier parts of the population. It begins when even places like California’s suburbs are no longer safe.

    It has already begun.

    Let’s start with some basics. Across the country, it’s going to get hot. Buffalo may feel in a few decades like Tempe, Ariz., does today, and Tempe itself will sustain 100-degree average summer temperatures by the end of the century. Extreme humidity from New Orleans to northern Wisconsin will make summers increasingly unbearable, turning otherwise seemingly survivable heat waves into debilitating health threats. Fresh water will also be in short supply, not only in the West but also in places like Florida, Georgia and Alabama, where droughts now regularly wither cotton fields. By 2040, according to federal government projections, extreme water shortages will be nearly ubiquitous west of Missouri. The Memphis Sands Aquifer, a crucial water supply for Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana, is already overdrawn by hundreds of millions of gallons a day. Much of the Ogallala Aquifer — which supplies nearly a third of the nation’s irrigation groundwater — could be gone by the end of the century.

    It can be difficult to see the challenges clearly because so many factors are in play. At least 28 million Americans are likely to face megafires like the ones we are now seeing in California, in places like Texas and Florida and Georgia. At the same time, 100 million Americans — largely in the Mississippi River Basin from Louisiana to Wisconsin — will increasingly face humidity so extreme that working outside or playing school sports could cause heatstroke. Crop yields will be decimated from Texas to Alabama and all the way north through Oklahoma and Kansas and into Nebraska.

    The challenges are so widespread and so interrelated that Americans seeking to flee one could well run into another. I live on a hilltop, 400 feet above sea level, and my home will never be touched by rising waters. But by the end of this century, if the more extreme projections of eight to 10 feet of sea-level rise come to fruition, the shoreline of San Francisco Bay will move three miles closer to my house, as it subsumes some 166 square miles of land, including a high school, a new county hospital and the store where I buy groceries. The freeway to San Francisco will need to be raised, and to the east, a new bridge will be required to connect the community of Point Richmond to the city of Berkeley. The Latino, Asian and Black communities who live in the most-vulnerable low-lying districts will be displaced first, but research from Mathew Hauer, a sociologist at Florida State University who published some of the first modeling of American climate migration in the journal Nature Climate Change in 2017, suggests that the toll will eventually be far more widespread: Nearly one in three people here in Marin County will leave, part of the roughly 700,000 who his models suggest may abandon the broader Bay Area as a result of sea-level rise alone.

    From Maine to North Carolina to Texas, rising sea levels are not just chewing up shorelines but also raising rivers and swamping the subterranean infrastructure of coastal communities, making a stable life there all but impossible. Coastal high points will be cut off from roadways, amenities and escape routes, and even far inland, saltwater will seep into underground drinking-water supplies. Eight of the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan areas — Miami, New York and Boston among them — will be profoundly altered, indirectly affecting some 50 million people. Imagine large concrete walls separating Fort Lauderdale condominiums from a beachless waterfront, or dozens of new bridges connecting the islands of Philadelphia. Not every city can spend $100 billion on a sea wall, as New York most likely will. Barrier islands? Rural areas along the coast without a strong tax base? They are likely, in the long term, unsalvageable.

    In all, Hauer projects that 13 million Americans will be forced to move away from submerged coastlines. Add to that the people contending with wildfires and other risks, and the number of Americans who might move — though difficult to predict precisely — could easily be tens of millions larger. Even 13 million climate migrants, though, would rank as the largest migration in North American history. The Great Migration — of six million Black Americans out of the South from 1916 to 1970 — transformed almost everything we know about America, from the fate of its labor movement to the shape of its cities to the sound of its music. What would it look like when twice that many people moved? What might change?

    Americans have been conditioned not to respond to geographical climate threats as people in the rest of the world do. It is natural that rural Guatemalans or subsistence farmers in Kenya, facing drought or scorching heat, would seek out someplace more stable and resilient. Even a subtle environmental change — a dry well, say — can mean life or death, and without money to address the problem, migration is often simply a question of survival.

    By comparison, Americans are richer, often much richer, and more insulated from the shocks of climate change. They are distanced from the food and water sources they depend on, and they are part of a culture that sees every problem as capable of being solved by money. So even as the average flow of the Colorado River — the water supply for 40 million Western Americans and the backbone of the nation’s vegetable and cattle farming — has declined for most of the last 33 years, the population of Nevada has doubled. At the same time, more than 1.5 million people have moved to the Phoenix metro area, despite its dependence on that same river (and the fact that temperatures there now regularly hit 115 degrees). Since Hurricane Andrew devastated Florida in 1992 — and even as that state has become a global example of the threat of sea-level rise — more than five million people have moved to Florida’s shorelines, driving a historic boom in building and real estate.

    Similar patterns are evident across the country. Census data show us how Americans move: toward heat, toward coastlines, toward drought, regardless of evidence of increasing storms and flooding and other disasters.

    The sense that money and technology can overcome nature has emboldened Americans. Where money and technology fail, though, it inevitably falls to government policies — and government subsidies — to pick up the slack. Thanks to federally subsidized canals, for example, water in part of the Desert Southwest costs less than it does in Philadelphia. The federal National Flood Insurance Program has paid to rebuild houses that have flooded six times over in the same spot. And federal agriculture aid withholds subsidies from farmers who switch to drought-resistant crops, while paying growers to replant the same ones that failed. Farmers, seed manufacturers, real estate developers and a few homeowners benefit, at least momentarily, but the gap between what the climate can destroy and what money can replace is growing.

    Perhaps no market force has proved more influential — and more misguided — than the nation’s property-insurance system. From state to state, readily available and affordable policies have made it attractive to buy or replace homes even where they are at high risk of disasters, systematically obscuring the reality of the climate threat and fooling many Americans into thinking that their decisions are safer than they actually are. Part of the problem is that most policies look only 12 months into the future, ignoring long-term trends even as insurance availability influences development and drives people’s long-term decision-making.

    Even where insurers have tried to withdraw policies or raise rates to reduce climate-related liabilities, state regulators have forced them to provide affordable coverage anyway, simply subsidizing the cost of underwriting such a risky policy or, in some cases, offering it themselves. The regulations — called Fair Access to Insurance Requirements — are justified by developers and local politicians alike as economic lifeboats “of last resort” in regions where climate change threatens to interrupt economic growth. While they do protect some entrenched and vulnerable communities, the laws also satisfy the demand of wealthier homeowners who still want to be able to buy insurance.

    At least 30 states, including Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Texas, have developed so-called FAIR plans, and today they serve as a market backstop in the places facing the highest risks of climate-driven disasters, including coastal flooding, hurricanes and wildfires.

    In an era of climate change, though, such policies amount to a sort of shell game, meant to keep growth going even when other obvious signs and scientific research suggest that it should stop.

    That’s what happened in Florida. Hurricane Andrew reduced parts of cities to landfill and cost insurers nearly $16 billion in payouts. Many insurance companies, recognizing the likelihood that it would happen again, declined to renew policies and left the state. So the Florida Legislature created a state-run company to insure properties itself, preventing both an exodus and an economic collapse by essentially pretending that the climate vulnerabilities didn’t exist.

    As a result, Florida’s taxpayers by 2012 had assumed liabilities worth some $511 billion — more than seven times the state’s total budget — as the value of coastal property topped $2.8 trillion. Another direct hurricane risked bankrupting the state. Florida, concerned that it had taken on too much risk, has since scaled back its self-insurance plan. But the development that resulted is still in place.

    On a sweltering afternoon last October, with the skies above me full of wildfire smoke, I called Jesse Keenan, an urban-planning and climate-change specialist then at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, who advises the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission on market hazards from climate change. Keenan, who is now an associate professor of real estate at Tulane University’s School of Architecture, had been in the news last year for projecting where people might move to — suggesting that Duluth, Minn., for instance, should brace for a coming real estate boom as climate migrants move north. But like other scientists I’d spoken with, Keenan had been reluctant to draw conclusions about where these migrants would be driven from.

    Last fall, though, as the previous round of fires ravaged California, his phone began to ring, with private-equity investors and bankers all looking for his read on the state’s future. Their interest suggested a growing investor-grade nervousness about swiftly mounting environmental risk in the hottest real estate markets in the country. It’s an early sign, he told me, that the momentum is about to switch directions. “And once this flips,” he added, “it’s likely to flip very quickly.”

    In fact, the correction — a newfound respect for the destructive power of nature, coupled with a sudden disavowal of Americans’ appetite for reckless development — had begun two years earlier, when a frightening surge in disasters offered a jolting preview of how the climate crisis was changing the rules.

    On October 9, 2017, a wildfire blazed through the suburban blue-collar neighborhood of Coffey Park in Santa Rosa, Calif., virtually in my own backyard. I awoke to learn that more than 1,800 buildings were reduced to ashes, less than 35 miles from where I slept. Inchlong cinders had piled on my windowsills like falling snow.

    The Tubbs Fire, as it was called, shouldn’t have been possible. Coffey Park is surrounded not by vegetation but by concrete and malls and freeways. So insurers had rated it as “basically zero risk,” according to Kevin Van Leer, then a risk modeler from the global insurance liability firm Risk Management Solutions. (He now does similar work for Cape Analytics.) But Van Leer, who had spent seven years picking through the debris left by disasters to understand how insurers could anticipate — and price — the risk of their happening again, had begun to see other “impossible” fires. After a 2016 fire tornado ripped through northern Canada and a firestorm consumed Gatlinburg, Tenn., he said, “alarm bells started going off” for the insurance industry.

    What Van Leer saw when he walked through Coffey Park a week after the Tubbs Fire changed the way he would model and project fire risk forever. Typically, fire would spread along the ground, burning maybe 50 percent of structures. In Santa Rosa, more than 90 percent had been leveled. “The destruction was complete,” he told me. Van Leer determined that the fire had jumped through the forest canopy, spawning 70-mile-per-hour winds that kicked a storm of embers into the modest homes of Coffey Park, which burned at an acre a second as homes ignited spontaneously from the radiant heat. It was the kind of thing that might never have been possible if California’s autumn winds weren’t getting fiercer and drier every year, colliding with intensifying, climate-driven heat and ever-expanding development. “It’s hard to forecast something you’ve never seen before,” he said.

    For me, the awakening to imminent climate risk came with California’s rolling power blackouts last fall — an effort to pre-emptively avoid the risk of a live wire sparking a fire — which showed me that all my notional perspective about climate risk and my own life choices were on a collision course. After the first one, all the food in our refrigerator was lost. When power was interrupted six more times in three weeks, we stopped trying to keep it stocked. All around us, small fires burned. Thick smoke produced fits of coughing. Then, as now, I packed an ax and a go-bag in my car, ready to evacuate. As former Gov. Jerry Brown said, it was beginning to feel like the “new abnormal.”

    It was no surprise, then, that California’s property insurers — having watched 26 years’ worth of profits dissolve over 24 months — began dropping policies, or that California’s insurance commissioner, trying to slow the slide, placed a moratorium on insurance cancellations for parts of the state in 2020. In February, the Legislature introduced a bill compelling California to, in the words of one consumer advocacy group, “follow the lead of Florida” by mandating that insurance remain available, in this case with a requirement that homeowners first harden their properties against fire. At the same time, participation in California’s FAIR plan for catastrophic fires has grown by at least 180 percent since 2015, and in Santa Rosa, houses are being rebuilt in the very same wildfire-vulnerable zones that proved so deadly in 2017. Given that a new study projects a 20 percent increase in extreme-fire-weather days by 2035, such practices suggest a special form of climate negligence.

    It’s only a matter of time before homeowners begin to recognize the unsustainability of this approach. Market shock, when driven by the sort of cultural awakening to risk that Keenan observes, can strike a neighborhood like an infectious disease, with fear spreading doubt — and devaluation — from door to door. It happened that way in the foreclosure crisis.

    Keenan calls the practice of drawing arbitrary lending boundaries around areas of perceived environmental risk “bluelining,” and indeed many of the neighborhoods that banks are bluelining are the same as the ones that were hit by the racist redlining practice in days past. This summer, climate-data analysts at the First Street Foundation released maps showing that 70 percent more buildings in the United States were vulnerable to flood risk than previously thought; most of the underestimated risk was in low-income neighborhoods.

    Such neighborhoods see little in the way of flood-prevention investment. My Bay Area neighborhood, on the other hand, has benefited from consistent investment in efforts to defend it against the ravages of climate change. That questions of livability had reached me, here, were testament to Keenan’s belief that the bluelining phenomenon will eventually affect large majorities of equity-holding middle-class Americans too, with broad implications for the overall economy, starting in the nation’s largest state.

    Under the radar, a new class of dangerous debt — climate-distressed mortgage loans — might already be threatening the financial system. Lending data analyzed by Keenan and his co-author, Jacob Bradt, for a study published in the journal Climatic Change in June shows that small banks are liberally making loans on environmentally threatened homes, but then quickly passing them along to federal mortgage backers. At the same time, they have all but stopped lending money for the higher-end properties worth too much for the government to accept, suggesting that the banks are knowingly passing climate liabilities along to taxpayers as stranded assets.

    Once home values begin a one-way plummet, it’s easy for economists to see how entire communities spin out of control. The tax base declines and the school system and civic services falter, creating a negative feedback loop that pushes more people to leave. Rising insurance costs and the perception of risk force credit-rating agencies to downgrade towns, making it more difficult for them to issue bonds and plug the springing financial leaks. Local banks, meanwhile, keep securitizing their mortgage debt, sloughing off their own liabilities.

    Keenan, though, had a bigger point: All the structural disincentives that had built Americans’ irrational response to the climate risk were now reaching their logical endpoint. A pandemic-induced economic collapse will only heighten the vulnerabilities and speed the transition, reducing to nothing whatever thin margin of financial protection has kept people in place. Until now, the market mechanisms had essentially socialized the consequences of high-risk development. But as the costs rise — and the insurers quit, and the bankers divest, and the farm subsidies prove too wasteful, and so on — the full weight of responsibility will fall on individual people.

    And that’s when the real migration might begin.

    As I spoke with Keenan last year, I looked out my own kitchen window onto hillsides of parkland, singed brown by months of dry summer heat. This was precisely the land that my utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, had three times identified as such an imperiled tinderbox that it had to shut off power to avoid fire. It was precisely the kind of wildland-urban interface that all the studies I read blamed for heightening Californians’ exposure to climate risks. I mentioned this on the phone and then asked Keenan, “Should I be selling my house and getting — ”

    He cut me off: “Yes.”

    Americans have dealt with climate disaster before. The Dust Bowl started after the federal government expanded the Homestead Act to offer more land to settlers willing to work the marginal soil of the Great Plains. Millions took up the invitation, replacing hardy prairie grass with thirsty crops like corn, wheat and cotton. Then, entirely predictably, came the drought. From 1929 to 1934, crop yields across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri plunged by 60 percent, leaving farmers destitute and exposing the now-barren topsoil to dry winds and soaring temperatures. The resulting dust storms, some of them taller than skyscrapers, buried homes whole and blew as far east as Washington. The disaster propelled an exodus of some 2.5 million people, mostly to the West, where newcomers — “Okies” not just from Oklahoma but also Texas, Arkansas and Missouri — unsettled communities and competed for jobs. Colorado tried to seal its border from the climate refugees; in California, they were funneled into squalid shanty towns. Only after the migrants settled and had years to claw back a decent life did some towns bounce back stronger.

    The places migrants left behind never fully recovered. Eighty years later, Dust Bowl towns still have slower economic growth and lower per capita income than the rest of the country. Dust Bowl survivors and their children are less likely to go to college and more likely to live in poverty. Climatic change made them poor, and it has kept them poor ever since.

    A Dust Bowl event will most likely happen again. The Great Plains states today provide nearly half of the nation’s wheat, sorghum and cattle and much of its corn; the farmers and ranchers there export that food to Africa, South America and Asia. Crop yields, though, will drop sharply with every degree of warming. By 2050, researchers at the University of Chicago and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies found, Dust Bowl-era yields will be the norm, even as demand for scarce water jumps by as much as 20 percent. Another extreme drought would drive near-total crop losses worse than the Dust Bowl, kneecapping the broader economy. At that point, the authors write, “abandonment is one option.”

    Projections are inherently imprecise, but the gradual changes to America’s cropland — plus the steady baking and burning and flooding — suggest that we are already witnessing a slower-forming but much larger replay of the Dust Bowl that will destroy more than just crops. In 2017, Solomon Hsiang, a climate economist at the University of California, Berkeley, led an analysis of the economic impact of climate-driven changes like rising mortality and rising energy costs, finding that the poorest counties in the United States — mostly across the South and the Southwest — will in some extreme cases face damages equal to more than a third of their gross domestic products. The 2018 National Climate Assessment also warns that the U.S. economy over all could contract by 10 percent.

    That kind of loss typically drives people toward cities, and researchers expect that trend to continue after the Covid-19 pandemic ends. In 1950, less than 65 percent of Americans lived in cities. By 2050, only 10 percent will live outside them, in part because of climatic change. By 2100, Hauer estimates, Atlanta, Orlando, Houston and Austin could each receive more than a quarter million new residents as a result of sea-level displacement alone, meaning it may be those cities — not the places that empty out — that wind up bearing the brunt of America’s reshuffling. The World Bank warns that fast-moving climate urbanization leads to rising unemployment, competition for services and deepening poverty.

    So what will happen to Atlanta — a metro area of 5.8 million people that may lose its water supply to drought and that our data also shows will face an increase in heat-driven wildfires? Hauer estimates that hundreds of thousands of climate refugees will move into the city by 2100, swelling its population and stressing its infrastructure. Atlanta — where poor transportation and water systems contributed to the state’s C+ infrastructure grade last year — already suffers greater income inequality than any other large American city, making it a virtual tinderbox for social conflict. One in 10 households earns less than $10,000 a year, and rings of extreme poverty are growing on its outskirts even as the city center grows wealthier.

    Atlanta has started bolstering its defenses against climate change, but in some cases this has only exacerbated divisions. When the city converted an old Westside rock quarry into a reservoir, part of a larger greenbelt to expand parkland, clean the air and protect against drought, the project also fueled rapid upscale growth, driving the poorest Black communities further into impoverished suburbs. That Atlanta hasn’t “fully grappled with” such challenges now, says Na’Taki Osborne Jelks, chair of the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, means that with more people and higher temperatures, “the city might be pushed to what’s manageable.”

    So might Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, Boston and other cities with long-neglected systems suddenly pressed to expand under increasingly adverse conditions.

    Once you accept that climate change is fast making large parts of the United States nearly uninhabitable, the future looks like this: With time, the bottom half of the country grows inhospitable, dangerous and hot. Something like a tenth of the people who live in the South and the Southwest — from South Carolina to Alabama to Texas to Southern California — decide to move north in search of a better economy and a more temperate environment. Those who stay behind are disproportionately poor and elderly.

    In these places, heat alone will cause as many as 80 additional deaths per 100,000 people — the nation’s opioid crisis, by comparison, produces 15 additional deaths per 100,000. The most affected people, meanwhile, will pay 20 percent more for energy, and their crops will yield half as much food or in some cases virtually none at all. That collective burden will drag down regional incomes by roughly 10 percent, amounting to one of the largest transfers of wealth in American history, as people who live farther north will benefit from that change and see their fortunes rise.

    The millions of people moving north will mostly head to the cities of the Northeast and Northwest, which will see their populations grow by roughly 10 percent, according to one model. Once-chilly places like Minnesota and Michigan and Vermont will become more temperate, verdant and inviting. Vast regions will prosper; just as Hsiang’s research forecast that Southern counties could see a tenth of their economy dry up, he projects that others as far as North Dakota and Minnesota will enjoy a corresponding expansion. Cities like Detroit, Rochester, Buffalo and Milwaukee will see a renaissance, with their excess capacity in infrastructure, water supplies and highways once again put to good use. One day, it’s possible that a high-speed rail line could race across the Dakotas, through Idaho’s up-and-coming wine country and the country’s new breadbasket along the Canadian border, to the megalopolis of Seattle, which by then has nearly merged with Vancouver to its north.

    Sitting in my own backyard one afternoon this summer, my wife and I talked through the implications of this looming American future. The facts were clear and increasingly foreboding. Yet there were so many intangibles — a love of nature, the busy pace of life, the high cost of moving — that conspired to keep us from leaving. Nobody wants to migrate away from home, even when an inexorable danger is inching ever closer. They do it when there is no longer any other choice.


    Quelques cartes:

    #migrations_environnementales #USA #Etats-Unis #réfugiés_climatiques #climat #changement_climatique #déplacés_internes #IDPs

  • Italian homes evacuated over risk of Mont Blanc glacier collapse

    Roads near #Courmayeur closed to tourists because of threat from falling #Planpincieux ice.

    Homes have been evacuated in Courmayeur in Italy’s Aosta valley, after a renewed warning that a huge portion of a Mont Blanc glacier is at risk of collapse.

    The measures were introduced on Wednesday morning after experts from the Fondazione Montagne Sicura (Safe Mountains Foundation) said 500,000 cubic metres of ice was in danger of sliding off the Planpincieux glacier on the Grandes Jorasses park.

    Some 65 people, including 50 tourists, have left homes in Val Ferret, the hamlet beneath the glacier. Roads have been closed to traffic and pedestrians.

    “We will find [alternative] solutions for residents,” Stefano Miserocchi, the mayor of Courmayeur, told the Italian news agency Ansa. “The tourists will have to find other solutions.”

    Glaciologists monitoring Planpincieux say a new section of ice is at risk of collapse. Homes were also evacuated in September last year following a warning that 250,000 cubic meters of ice could fall. The movement of the glacial mass was due to “anomalous temperature trends”, the experts said.

    The glacier has been closely monitored since 2013 to detect the speed at which the ice is melting.

    In August 2018, a heavy storm unleashed a debris flow, killing an elderly couple when their car was swept from the road that is currently closed.

    In the event of a collapse, it would take less than two minutes for the mass to reach the municipal road below.

    Safe Mountain Foundation experts are monitoring 184 glaciers in the Aosta valley region.

    There are 4,000 glaciers across the Mont Blanc massif, the highest mountain range in Europe, which straddles Italy, France and Switzerland.

    Scientists predict that if emissions continue to rise at the current rate, the Alpine glaciers could shed half of their ice by 2050.

    #Mont_Blanc #évacuation #glacier #montagne #changement_climatique #climat #Italie #réfugiés #réfugiés_climatiques #Vallée_d'Aoste #glace #Alpes

    ping @reka @albertocampiphoto

  • Where Will Everyone Go ?

    ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, with support from the Pulitzer Center, have for the first time modeled how climate refugees might move across international borders. This is what we found.

    #climate #climate_refugee #migration #international_migration #map

    ping @cdb_77


  • Migrazioni climatiche (prima parte)

    Un’analisi dei flussi migratori causati dai cambiamenti climatici, che superano quelli dovuti agli eventi bellici. Le normative sovranazionali non hanno ancora recepito il problema che pertanto genera clandestinità.
    Il genere umano, sin dall’epoca preistorica, è sempre stato interessato da spostamenti, su scala più o meno ampia, generati da una vasta gamma di motivazioni, fra le quali principalmente: la ricerca di nuove terre, l’aspirazione verso migliori condizioni di vita, l’espansione coloniale, la fuga da guerre, persecuzioni e discriminazioni varie ed anche da fenomeni naturali avversi quali catastrofi e cambiamenti climatici. Numerosi sono i casi storici di movimenti di interi popoli o di parte di essi sospinti da fenomeni naturali, in quanto le migrazioni hanno da sempre rappresentato una fondamentale strategia di adattamento ai mutamenti climatico-ambientali. Nonostante ciò, l’élite politica mondiale e i media internazionali non hanno, sino a pochi anni fa, prestato particolare attenzione a questo fenomeno. La comunità scientifica mondiale, invece, dalla fine del scorso secolo ha mostrato crescente interesse sia verso lo studio dei cambiamenti climatici che delle sue conseguenze, come l’impatto sui flussi migratori.

    Le problematiche metodologiche

    L’analisi del fenomeno ha tuttavia evidenziato criticità di carattere metodologico a seguito della sua complessità e della sua eterogeneità, pertanto, nonostante le pubblicazioni accademiche abbiano registrato un sensibile incremento nell’ultimo ventennio (Amato 2019 [1]), la sua conoscenza risulta ancora frammentaria e non del tutto esaustiva. Le difficoltà di indagine riguardano aspetti di diversa natura legati, in primis, alla peculiarità del fenomeno migratorio che si può manifestare in ampia gamma di variabili riconducibili alla durata, temporanea o definitiva, alle cause, volontarie o forzate, e al raggio di spostamento, interne, internazionali o intercontinentali.

    Per quanto riguarda il rapporto tra fenomeni naturali e migrazioni, che in questo contesto ci proponiamo di indagare, i primi possono essere distinti, in base alla dinamica temporale in cui si manifestano, in eventi a «insorgenza lenta» come i cambiamenti climatico-ambientali (riscaldamento globale, desertificazione, innalzamento del livello dei mari, erosione dei suoli ecc.) e ad «insorgenza rapida» come uragani, tempeste, bombe d’acqua e inondazioni oltre alle calamità naturali (terremoti, tsunami ed eruzioni vulcaniche). La diversa natura e tipologia di fenomeno scatenante genera inevitabili riflessi sulle caratteristiche dei flussi migratori, infatti mentre i fenomeni ad «insorgenza lenta» spesso generano migrazioni volontarie mosse da motivi economici, le risposte ad eventi ad «insorgenza rapida» risultano invece prevalentemente involontarie e di breve durata.

    Nell’intento di effettuare una classificazione delle migrazioni riconducibili a soli fattori climatici e ambientali, escludendo quindi i fenomeni geofisici come terremoti e tsunami, una corrente di studiosi ha identificato 4 tipologie distinte, equamente ripartite fra processi progressivi ed eventi improvvisi: 1) perdita di territorio dovuto a innalzamento del livello del mare, 2) siccità e desertificazione, 3) disastri naturali come alluvioni, cicloni e tempeste e 4) conflitti per le scarse risorse che possono portare a tensioni e violenze.

    Opera abbastanza complessa si presenta quindi la l’individuazione, la quantificazione e la classificazione degli spostamenti generati da fenomeni naturali che, nella sostanza a causa della comune origine involontaria, vanno ad aggiungersi alle altre tipologie di migrazioni forzate, riconducibili a guerre, conflitti, persecuzioni personali e calamità naturali. Nonostante il riscaldamento globale, la cui origine antropica sia ormai ampiamente comprovata dalla comunità scientifica mondiale, e i conseguenti cambiamenti climatico-ambientali (siccità, desertificazione, piogge intense, inondazioni, innalzamento del livello dei mari ecc) siano alla base di un numero crescente di spostamenti di persone in tutte le aree del pianeta (Amato, 2019), è opportuno evidenziare come alle migrazioni climatiche non sia stata ancora attribuita una precisa definizione, sia in campo semantico che in quello giuridico.

    Elementi di criticità ad oggi restano oltre all’identificazione del fenomeno, anche la sua estensione territoriale, le cause e la terminologia da utilizzare per identificarlo. I soggetti interessati dal fenomeno vengono definiti indistintamente come: profughi ambientali, migranti ambientali, profughi climatici, rifugiati climatici o rifugiati ambientali. Quest’ultimo termine, che risulta il più utilizzato, non viene però adottato dalle Nazioni Unite in quanto lo status di rifugiato viene riconosciuto dal diritto internazionale (Convenzione di Ginevra sullo statuto dei rifugiati del 1951) ai perseguitati per motivi razziali, religiosi, politici e a chi in fuga da guerre ma non per cause climatiche o ambientali (Amato, 2019). Un vulnus nell’architettura normativa sovranazionale che rappresenta elemento di discriminazione e che necessita di essere colmato, appurato il consistente numero di persone costrette ad abbandonare le proprie case a seguito di fenomeni naturali avversi.

    Sullo sfondo dell’ambito metodologico, si staglia, in veste di problematica principale, la determinazione della causa che, sia nel caso di spostamenti interni che internazionali, si presenta non di rado in forma non univoca. Frequentemente sussistono infatti molteplici cause, spesso interagenti fra loro, riconducibili a fattori di natura sociale, economica, demografica, politica, bellica e ambientale che rendono difficile ricondurne l’origine ad una in particolare. Ad esempio risulta problematico identificare l’origine della migrazione, fra economica e climatica, nel caso in cui il surriscaldamento globale, comportando una riduzione delle rese agricole, spinge i piccoli produttori nella povertà estrema costringendoli ad abbandonare le proprie terre.

    L’origine del termine «migranti climatici» venne coniato nel 1976 dall’ambientalista statunitense Lester Brown, tuttavia, il «padre» della corrente di pensiero viene considerato l’ambientalista inglese, professore ad Oxford, Norman Myers il quale già alla metà degli anni ’90 affermava che a livello mondiale erano presenti circa 25 milioni di “rifugiati climatici” prevedendo che nel 2050 avrebbero raggiunto quota 200 milioni. L’espressione “rifugiato ambientale”, invece, venne utilizzato per la prima volta in un report delle Nazioni Unite del 1985 e, successivamente, inserita nel 1997 nel Glossario di Statistiche Ambientali in riferimento a “una persona sfollata per cause ambientali, in particolare degrado ambientale”.

    Tutt’oggi non è stata ancora trovata né una definizione condivisa, né il suo inquadramento giuridico a causa dell’inerzia politica, in quanto un accordo a livello intergovernativo che modifichi il diritto internazionale introducendo il riconoscimento dello status di «rifugiato ambientale o climatico», con il conseguente obbligo di non respingimento degli stessi alle frontiere, amplierebbe la platea delle persone da accogliere, aumentando le problematiche sociali e logistiche ed i costi per gli stati di arrivo. Pertanto, l’immobilismo della leadership politica internazionale, che peraltro non tiene in considerazione l’aggravarsi degli effetti della crisi climatico-ambientale sulle condizioni di vita delle persone, si concretizza nel fatto che i soggetti coinvolti, non avendo riconosciuto il loro status dal punto di vista giuridico e adeguata protezione internazionale, finiscono per ingrossare le file dell’immigrazione irregolare internazionale.

    Una panoramica globale

    Le emissioni antropogeniche di gas climalteranti, che già alla fine del 2018 avevano fatto salire la concentrazione di CO2 nell’atmosfera a 410 ppm (parti per milione), con aumento di circa 100 punti solo negli ultimi 60 anni (grafico 1), rappresentano la causa principale dell’aumento della temperatura media globale che, rispetto al periodo pre industriale, è aumentata di 1,1° con un’impennata nel quinquennio 2014-2019 di ben 0,2° a conferma dell’aggravamento del trend in atto.

    Il fenomeno, tuttavia, evidenzia elementi di complessità e di difformità geografica accertato che il riscaldamento globale, da un lato, non si presenta in forma omogenea nell’atmosfera terrestre, vista ad esempio la maggior intensità registrata alle alte latitudini (carta 1), dall’altro, innesca un ampio spettro di mutamenti climatici dai connotati locali talvolta molto diversi, che stanno assumendo negli ultimi anni frequenza e intensità crescenti, con inevitabili riflessi sulle condizioni di vita delle popolazioni.

    Dal rapporto pubblicato nel 2017 dal Carbon Disclosure Project emerge come le maggiori responsabilità del fenomeno siano riconducibili alle principali 100 società mondiali, sia pubbliche che private, del settore energetico, le quali tra il 1988 e il 2015 avrebbero rilasciato oltre il 70% delle emissioni globali e che anche a livello dei singoli paesi risultano gravi squilibri visto che solo Cina, Ue e Usa provocano oltre la metà del totale delle emissioni. Fuoriesce un quadro abbastanza nitido rispetto alle responsabilità che non sono attribuibili all’umanità in toto bensì a determinati stati, alle grandi imprese ed ai gruppi finanziari che vi investono.

    Le difficoltà metodologiche precedentemente rilevate rendono problematico da quantificare un fenomeno che, come visto, risulta complesso, spesso multicausale [2] e, soprattutto, riguardante soggetti il cui status non è stato ancora precisamente definito e tanto meno tutelato dal diritto internazionale. In considerazione di ciò, lo studio del fenomeno presenta un certo grado di complessità e di difficoltà oggettive in quanto, nonostante la lunga ricerca, non è risultato possibile attingere dati da fonti ufficiali circa l’entità del fenomeno globale, composto sia dalle migrazioni internazionali che da quelle interne: per le prime sono state diffuse solo stime, mentre per le seconde l’istituto più autorevole impegnato a monitorare, l’Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (Centro di monitoraggio degli spostamenti interni), è attivo solamente dal 2008.

    Un arco di tempo non lungo ma sufficiente a comprenderne le dimensioni e le tendenze visto che, in base a questa fonte, solo le persone costrette a spostarsi all’interno dello stesso paese (internally displaced persons) a causa di fenomeni climatico-ambientali fra il 2008 e il 2014 sono risultate oltre 150 milioni, un numero superiore rispetto a quello causato da guerre e conflitti e addirittura, nello stesso periodo, oltre 170 milioni secondo i dati dell’Unione Europea (tabella 1).

    In base a recenti pubblicazioni sul tema emerge come gli effetti dei cambiamenti climatici e dei fenomeni estremi inneschino prevalentemente mobilità forzate interne invece che internazionali, ciò a seguito sia della scelta prioritaria di non spostarsi al di fuori del proprio paese, dove le condizioni di vita diventano più difficili, sia per l’impossibilità delle persone in stato di fragilità estrema a muoversi (trapped population) (Amato, 2019). Nell’ambito di questa analisi, risulta utile supporto uno studio [3] che ha indagato il rapporto tra l’aumento della temperatura globale e la migrazione internazionale prendendo in esame 116 paesi, suddivisi fra paesi a basso e a medio reddito, nel periodo compreso fra il 1960 e il 2000.

    L’indagine parte dall’ipotesi che nel lungo termine il riscaldamento atmosferico impoverendo le popolazioni rurali e peggiorando le loro condizioni di vita, influenzi la migrazione, ma con modalità diverse a seconda del reddito delle popolazioni. I risultati delle analisi confermano questa ipotesi: da un lato l’aumento graduale della temperatura contribuisce ad un aumento dei flussi migratori dai paesi a medio reddito. Al contrario, lo stesso fenomeno contribuisce a ridurre l’emigrazione da paesi più poveri. Questo risultato mette in luce l’esistenza di una relazione di costo-opportunità fra gli alti incentivi a migrare e le risorse per farlo. L’aumento della temperatura, infatti, provocando un calo della produttività agricola, genera un maggiore spinta migratoria. Pur rappresentando un significativo input, questo calo del reddito riduce la possibilità di emigrare da paesi meno sviluppati, dove un’elevata percentuale di persone vivono con un misero reddito addirittura sotto la soglia di povertà estrema di 1,90 $ al giorno, in particolare in Africa Sub-Sahariana dove nel 2015 in tale condizione si trovava ancora il 41.2% della popolazione totale [4]. Il riscaldamento globale tende quindi ad intrappolare le popolazioni povere nei loro territori di appartenenza a causa dell’elevato costo degli spostamenti internazionali che i potenziali migranti hanno raramente capacità di finanziare.

    Un secondo importante risultato emerso dall’analisi è che i flussi migratori da paesi a medio reddito causati dell’aumento della temperatura, sono principalmente diretti verso destinazioni limitrofe, in genere nel raggio di 1.000 km, come ci confermano i dati dell’Unhcr [5].

    Procedendo quindi all’analisi degli unici dati attendibili e completi, vale a dire quelli relativi agli sfollati o ai dislocamenti interni, secondo il Global Report on Internal Displacement (2019) pubblicati dall’Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), i nuovi spostamenti interni a livello globale a fine 2018 (tabella 2) raggiungevano i 28 milioni di unità che interessavano 148 paesi dei quali, 17,2 milioni a causa di calamità naturali e 10,8 per conflitti. Le migrazioni interne sono dunque per il 61% legate a eventi naturali e di queste la stragrande maggioranza è rappresentata da persone costrette a fuggire da eventi climatici estremi: 16,1 milioni per alluvioni, cicloni e tempeste, mentre solamente 1,1 milioni riconducibili a fenomeni geofisici, principalmente terremoti [6].

    Il rapporto indica che il totale mondiale degli sfollati interni, a causa sia di fenomeni naturali che di violenze, aveva raggiunto a fine 2018, i 41,3 milioni di persone, la cifra più elevata mai registrata secondo la direttrice dell’IDMC Alexandra Bilac. Un fenomeno che appare fortemente concentrato in specifiche aree, appurato che 3/4, ovvero 30,9 milioni di persone, si trovano in soli dieci paesi, principalmente Siria (6,2), Colombia (5,8), Repubblica Democratica del Congo (3,1), Somalia (2,6) e Afghanistan (2,6) che da sole ne ospitano quasi la metà.

    Premettendo che di anno in anno il quadro mondiale degli sfollati interni appare in sensibile mutamento a causa sia dell’improvvisa esplosione di conflitti che dall’imprevedibilità temporale e geografica dei fenomeni climatici, dall’analisi dei dati macroregionali disaggregati, in base alle cause dei nuovi ricollocati interni del solo 2018, suddivisi fra eventi naturali e conflitti, fuoriesce un quadro eterogeneo (tabella 3): mentre i primi superano i secondi in Asia orientale e Pacifico (9,3 milioni contro 236.000), Asia meridionale (3,3 milioni contro 544.000), Americhe (1,7 milioni contro 404.000), Europa e Asia centrale (41.000 contro 12.000), in Africa Sub-sahariana (2,6 e 7,4 milioni) e nell’area Medio Oriente e Nord-Africa (214.000 contro 2,1 milioni), a causa dell’elevato numero di guerre e scontri armati, la situazione era invertita.

    L’intensificarsi dei fenomeni meteorologici estremi, come visto, ha determinato la maggior parte dei nuovi spostamenti innescando, nel 2018, 17,2 milioni di nuovi ricollocamenti su 28 milioni; dislocamenti interni che geograficamente hanno interessato, soprattutto, l’Asia meridionale e orientale, accertato che Filippine (3,8), Cina (3,8) e India (2,7) hanno assorbito circa il 60% del totale di nuovi sfollati, principalmente sotto forma di evacuazioni. Al quarto posto seguono gli Stati Uniti, unico paese ad economia avanzata fra i primi 10, con 1,2 milioni di sfollati confermando da un lato che i fenomeni naturali estremi colpiscono soprattutto le zone tropicali asiatiche e il Sud del mondo in generale, dall’altro che i paesi sviluppati, anche che se localizzati prevalentemente nella fascia temperata, non ne sono di certo al riparo.


    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #réfugiés_environnementaux #réfugiés_climatiques #chiffres #statistiques #flux_migratoires

    ping @reka

    • Migrazioni climatiche (seconda parte)

      Le conseguenze dei cambiamenti climatici verranno pagate di più da chi ne ha meno responsabilità. Giustizia ambientale e giustizia climatica sono inscindibili.

      Le preoccupanti proiezioni future

      Appurata l’aggravarsi della crisi climatico-ambientale con i suoi riflessi sempre più rilevanti sulle condizioni di vita delle persone, il mondo scientifico, le istituzioni e le organizzazioni nazionali e internazionali vi stanno focalizzando in maniera crescente la loro attenzione con studi, dossier e convegni nel tentativo di indurre la leadership politica mondiale ad implementare efficaci strategie di contenimento del riscaldamento globale. Fra i vari, anche il rapporto dell’Ipcc [1], gruppo intergovernativo sul cambiamento climatico delle Nazioni Unite dell’8 agosto 2019, “Cambiamento climatico e territorio”, conferma che a seguito di fenomeni naturali sempre più frequenti e intensi aumenteranno sia la fame che le migrazioni. Le zone più vulnerabili saranno quelle tropicali e subtropicali: si prevede che in Asia e Africa si registri ad esempio il maggior numero di persone colpite dalla desertificazioni. Nell’area del Mediterraneo, come anche in Nord e Sud America, nell’Africa meridionale e nell’Asia centrale osserveremo invece un preoccupante aumento degli incendi. Conseguentemente, conclude il rapporto, il fenomeno delle migrazioni subirà gli effetti dei cambiamenti climatici, sia all’interno dei Paesi che fra paesi diversi, presagendo un inevitabile incremento degli spostamenti oltre frontiera.

      Della crescente rilevanza e gravità del fenomeno delle migrazioni ambientali sembra che stiano prendendo atto anche gli Stati che hanno iniziato, seppur recentemente, a discutere di inserire nelle politiche migratorie anche la sfera climatica e ambientale. In questa direzione deve essere interpretata la «Dichiarazione di New York su rifugiati e migranti», adottata il 19 settembre 2016 nell’ambito della 71°’Assemblea Generale delle Nazioni Unite, che ha formalmente riconosciuto l’impatto dei cambiamenti climatici e ambientali quali fattori significativi nelle migrazioni forzate.

      Un fenomeno destinato in futuro ad assumere maggiore consistenza, sia nella sua dimensione interna che internazionale, come denunciato anche dal rapporto emesso 19 marzo 2018 dalla Banca Mondiale, in base al quale entro il 2050, fino a 143 milioni di persone che attualmente vivono nei paesi dell’Africa Sub-sahariana (86 milioni), dell’Asia meridionale (40 milioni) e dell’America Latina (17 milioni), potrebbero infatti essere costrette a muoversi all’interno dei propri paesi, fuggendo dalle aree meno vitali con minore disponibilità idrica e produttività delle colture, o da zone che saranno colpite dall’innalzamento del livello del mare e dalle mareggiate, creando inevitabili problemi di gestione del fenomeno a governi già afflitti da rilevanti difficoltà economiche e sociali. Preoccupante scenario che, a grandi linee, ricalca quello previsto da Norman Myers negli anni ’90.

      Il razzismo ambientale

      Gli effetti della crisi climatico-ambientale non si declinano esclusivamente attraverso l’alterazione e la distruzione degli ecosistemi naturali ma anche tramite gli aspetti economici e sociali dell’ingiustizia ambientale. Un gruppo di studiosi che ha indagato le correlazioni fra cambiamenti climatici erazzismo ambientale,fra i quali l’autorevole ambientalista statunitense William Ernest «Bill» McKibben [2], osservando che la crisi sta incidendo, e probabilmente continuerà ad incidere, su alcuni gruppi sociali maggiormente che su altri, sono arrivati a comprovare che gli effetti più gravosi vengono subiti da coloro che hanno minori responsabilità in termini di emissioni e di consumi. Secondo le loro ricerche la traiettoria della disuguaglianza sociale si sviluppa conseguentemente a quella del degrado ambientale, pertanto più lasciamo che l’emergenza climatica si aggravi, più le disparità sociali ed economiche si amplieranno. Ad analoghe conclusioni sono giunti anche gli scienziati dell’Ipcc, i quali, sempre nel rapporto “Cambiamento climatico e territorio” evidenziano la dimensione sociale dei cambiamenti climatici affermando che «gli impatti del cambiamento climatico saranno più severi non solo per i più poveri, ma anche per (…) gli anziani, i giovani, i più vulnerabili, gli indigeni e gli immigrati recenti».

      Tale dinamica discriminatoria ha alimentato sin degli anni ‘80 il movimento di giustizia ambientale, che si è concentrato su una sfera particolare del degrado ambientale: il razzismo ambientale, o eco razzismo (eco racism). Termine che sta ad indicare il meccanismo in base al quale le comunità socialmente marginalizzate hanno accessibilità limitata, se non addirittura alcuna, ad acqua, aria e terra non contaminata.
      Il razzismo ambientale benché agisca su due dimensioni distinte, quella sociale e quella territoriale, evidenzia correlazioni fra i due ambiti. Infatti, da un lato, le discariche e gli impianti inquinanti tendono ad essere costruiti nelle aree di comunità marginalizzate, popolate da famiglie a basso reddito e da minoranze sociali con elevati tassi di disoccupazione, come ad esempio in Italia gli impianti siderurgici di Bagnoli e Taranto. Negli Stati Uniti esiste, invece, una dinamica declinata in particolare su una discriminazione di tipo razziale. Uno studio ventennale, condotto da Robert Bullard, noto come il padre della giustizia ambientale americana, ha analizzato le caratteristiche razziali e socio-economiche delle comunità che vivono nelle vicinanze di discariche di rifiuti tossici concludendo che un numero sproporzionato di afroamericani risiede in aree con strutture per lo smaltimento di rifiuti chimici. D’altra parte, nelle aree più colpite dagli effetti del cambiamento climatico vi risiedono le comunità marginalizzate dove la povertà aggrava la loro vulnerabilità, come confermato anche dal rapporto «Tendenze minoritarie e indigene 2019» del Minority Rights Group che affronta gli effetti del cambiamento climatico su minoranze e popolazioni indigene e dal quale si evince che a causa dell’ancestrale rapporto con la terra e l’ambiente in cui vivono (addirittura definita Pachamama, Madre Terra, dalle comunità amerindie), queste risultano le comunità più vulnerabili in assoluto.

      La nuova frontiera dell’Apartheid climatico

      Al concetto di razzismo ambientale o eco razzismo, si sta recentemente affiancando quello più articolato di Apartheid climatico poiché alle crescenti disparità socio-economiche globali si sovrappone, acuendone gli effetti, la differente capacità di risposta delle comunità di fronte alle conseguenze del riscaldamento globale. Come abbiamo precedentemente rilevato, tutte le aree geografiche terrestri risultano interessate, seppur con intensità e forme diverse, dagli effetti del riscaldamento globale e dei cambiamenti climatici, ma ciò che differenzia i vari stati e gruppi sociali interni appare la capacità di risposta a tali fenomeni che, infatti, risulta proporzionale alle risorse a disposizione per difendersene e contrastarle. Mentre gli stati a basso reddito, i gruppi sociali marginali ed i popoli autoctoni ne subiscono i maggiori effetti in quanto privi di capacità di adattamento e di mitigazione – come visto anche la sola migrazione – viceversa, come afferma anche il rapporto presentato lunedì 24 giugno 2019 al Consiglio per i Diritti Umani dell’Onu da Philip Alston [3], solo i paesi più sviluppati «riusciranno ad operare gli aggiustamenti necessari ad affrontare temperature sempre più estreme». Lo studio in questione, che supporta le proprie affermazioni su dati oggettivi, afferma che i cambiamenti climatici rischiano di annullare i progressi conseguiti a livello globale negli ultimi 50 anni per lo sviluppo, la salute e la lotta alla fame. Tali mutamenti produrranno, entro il 2030, almeno 120 milioni di nuovi poveri, mentre «i benestanti potranno pagare per sfuggire al surriscaldamento, alla fame e ai conflitti, il resto del pianeta sarà lasciato a soffrire». A tal proposito è stato introdotto dalla comunità scientifica il concetto di vulnerabilità che l’Ipcc definisce come “la propensione o predisposizione ad essere affetti negativamente” dai cambiamenti climatici, e “la mancanza di capacità di far fronte e adattarsi” a tali cambiamenti. Alla vulnerabilità è contrapposta la resilienza, vale a dire “la capacità dei sistemi sociali, economici e ambientali di far fronte a un evento, tendenza o disturbo pericoloso”.

      L’entità dell’impatto degli eventi climatici estremi risulta sovente proporzionale alle condizioni economiche e sociali, delle comunità colpite che, se in condizioni di fragilità, subiscono un aumento della vulnerabilità e una riduzione della capacità di adattamento a situazioni in fase di mutamento. Frequentemente i cambiamenti climatici amplificano, infatti, condizioni preesistenti di vulnerabilità socio-economica fungendo da acceleratori della povertà e dell’ingiustizia sociale. Le persone malate e ferite, i bambini, i disabili, gli anziani, sono spesso tra i sopravvissuti più gravemente colpiti dagli eventi estremi, soprattutto nei paesi meno sviluppati. Sono infatti principalmente le comunità dei Sud del mondo a subire le conseguenze degli effetti del degrado ambientale e dei cambiamenti climatici, vittime da un lato di fenomeni a cui hanno scarsamente contribuito, e dall’altro anche di attività di sfruttamento di risorse o della costruzione di infrastrutture figlie di un modello di sviluppo imposto con poca attenzione ai fabbisogni delle popolazioni locali. In molti casi, soprattutto in società rurali del Sud del mondo, tale vulnerabilità è stata prodotta o amplificata da politiche neocoloniali o di “sviluppo” e globalizzazione capitalista che hanno ridotto la varietà di colture, ridotto la fertilità dei suoli, creato dipendenza economica dall’esportazione di pochi prodotti, indebolito le strutture sociali tradizionali di reciprocità e mutuo supporto a livello locale, così come la capacità degli stati di rispondere a situazioni di emergenza e provvedere a servizi sociali di base come infrastrutture sanitarie e mediche. (D. Andreucci e A. Orlandi 2019). [4]

      In sintesi, riconducendo l’analisi a scala globale, il Sud del mondo che è responsabile del solo 10% delle emissioni, si prevede che dovrà subirne il 75% delle ricadute negative, precipitando di fatto in una situazione di “apartheid ambientale”. La riduzione delle emissioni non risulta pertanto una questione prettamente di carattere ambientale ma una strategia funzionale al rispetto dei diritti umani e sociali, in quanto giustizia sociale e giustizia climatica sono concetti interdipendenti ed i movimenti che le sostengono non possono agire separatamente se aspirano ad ottenere risultati tangibili.

      Dall’Antropocene al Capitalocene

      Il concetto di Antropocene, proposto per la prima volta negli anni ’80 dal biologo Eugene Stroener, ha iniziato a diffondersi, travalicando i confini disciplinari ed accademici, ad opera del premio Nobel per la chimica, Paul Crutzen, per rimarcare l’intensità e la pervasività che l’attività umana aveva assunto nei confronti del processi biologici terrestri (Crutzen, 2005). In ambito ambientalista il concetto evidenza invece il passaggio di stato del nostro Pianeta causato dal manifestarsi su scala globale della crisi climatico-ambientale di origine antropogenica, assurta ad elemento caratterizzante di una nuova era geologica. Tale accezione del concetto di Antropocene risulta tuttavia avulsa da significative connotazioni storico-politiche poiché rapporta il cambiamento climatico all’azione umana, nel suo complesso, senza distinzioni.

      La pluricausalità alla base dei flussi migratori contemporanei riconduce invece a fattori economici e sociali, oltre che a quelli ambientali, chiamando in causa le relazioni fra il Nord e il Sud del mondo e i concetti di giustizia sociale e ambientale legati, come visto, alla vulnerabilità e all’accesso alle risorse e, dunque, alle classi sociali di appartenenza.

      Una corrente accademica di pensiero e alcuni contesti scientifici sostengono che la crisi climatico-ambientale in atto sia il frutto del sistema economico dominante a livello mondiale, nel cui ambito la volontà di una parte nettamente minoritaria di popolazione mondiale di perpetrare lo sfruttamento delle risorse nell’intento di salvaguardare il proprio, ormai insostenibile, livello di consumi [5] (Bush figlio docet), si concretizza in un forte deficit ecologico che impatta, sotto varie forme, prevalentemente nelle aree geografiche economicamente e socialmente meno sviluppate. Prendere in considerazione esclusivamente gli aspetti climatici come causa migratoria significa di fatto rimuovere il ruolo e le responsabilità del sistema dominante di produzione e consumo, che secondo quest’area di studiosi, può assumere più opportunamente una denominazione di matrice geologica diversa: il Capitalocene (Moore, 2017).

      Questo nuovo concetto mette maggiormente in risalto gli aspetti degenerativi della struttura capitalistica che, in modo sempre più «classista», polarizza le vulnerabilità non solo intergenerazionali, in ottica futura, ma soprattutto quelle odierne all’interno e fra società diverse (Amato, 2019).

      Il sistema economico globalizzato, neoliberista e sviluppista, funziona da garanzia per il capitale transnazionale nell’ambito di un modello di sviluppo lineare fondato sul ciclo estrazione, produzione, consumo, sulla concentrazione di immensi profitti e la socializzazione dei costi ambientali. Tuttavia, l’adozione di politiche indirizzate verso un modello economico circolare (Circular economy) in grado parzialmente di rigenerarsi riducendo l’impatto sull’ecosistema terrestre può, a nostro avviso, non essere sufficiente a risolvere la triplice crisi in atto (ambientale, economica e sociale) in quanto non vengono messi in discussione i paradigmi della crescita economica infinita e dell’accumulazione capitalistica.

      La tematica del superamento delle strutture economiche e sociali del Capitalocene, con i suoi insostenibili modelli di produzione, di consumo e di ripartizione della ricchezza, si propone, alla luce della crisi ambientale sull’orlo del punto del non ritorno e delle disuguaglianze sociali sempre più marcate, in modo ancor più attuale, a causa dei suoi effetti degenerativi sempre più pervasivi, arrivati ormai a mettere a repentaglio il futuro del Pianeta e dell’intera umanità.


      [1] Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change è il principale organismo internazionale per la valutazione dei cambiamenti climatici. È stato istituito nel 1988 dalla World Meteorological Organization (WMO) e dall’United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) come uno sforzo da parte delle Nazioni Unite per fornire ai governi di tutto il mondo una chiara visione scientifica dello stato attuale delle conoscenze sul cambiamento climatico e sui suoi potenziali impatti ambientali e socio-economici. Migliaia di scienziati di tutto il mondo contribuiscono al lavoro dell’IPCC, su base volontaria.

      [2] Bill McKibben autore primo libro sul cambiamento climatico (pubblicato nel 1989) e co-fondatore di «350.org».

      [3] Esperto di diritto internazionale e relatore speciale per le Nazioni Unite sulla povertà estrema.

      [4] Migranti e cambiamenti climatici. Chi emigra, perché e come intervenire per porvi rimedio?, 26 giugno 2019.

      [5] Come certificano i dati dell’impronta ecologica. L’impronta ecologica media pro capite mondiale sostenibile è 1,8 ha mente quella effettiva è invece di 2,7 ha. Fra i singoli paesi: Qatar (11,68), Kuwait (9,72), Emirati Arabi Uniti (8,44), Usa (8,1).


  • MOHAMED’S STORY. Escaping the #climate_conflict_trap

    MOHAMED’S STORY is based on more than 200 targeted interviews with a variety of religious, occupational and ethno-linguistic groups living around Lake Chad as well as satellite data-based long-term observation studies of the hydrology and climate variability of the lake. The research took place in Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria from November 2017 to June 2019.

    #BD #climat #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_climatiques #réfugiés_environnementaux #lac_Tchad #changement_climatique #hydrologie #Niger #Tchad #Cameroun #Nigeria #conflit_climatique #guerre #conflits #bande_dessinée #piège

    Pour lire la BD complète et la télécharger :

    ping @karine4 @reka

  • New pact paves way for innovative solutions to disaster and climate change displacement in Africa

    People fleeing disasters and climate change will be able to seek safety in neighbouring countries under the pioneering deal.

    A breakthrough agreement to assist people fleeing natural hazards, disasters and climate change in eastern Africa was concluded this week. The deal not only allows those forced to flee disaster-affected countries to seek safety in neighbouring countries, but also ensures they will not be sent home until it safe and reasonable to return.

    The new agreement – the #IGAD_Free_Movement_Protocol – was endorsed by all seven Member States of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in Khartoum on 26 February. The Protocol follows years of negotiations and consultations. It marks a significant step in addressing the protection gap for growing numbers of people worldwide displaced by disasters, who often do not qualify for refugee status or other forms of international protection.

    It is all the more poignant that the IGAD Free Movement Protocol takes in a region that includes some of the countries worst affected by drought, flooding and environmental degradation, including Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan. The combination of natural hazards and disasters with other challenges – including conflict, poverty and weak governance – makes dealing with displacement in this region a complex and multifaceted issue.

    The IGAD Protocol’s protection for people affected by disasters and climate change is broad. It facilitates entry and lawful stay for those who have been displaced. It also allows those at risk of displacement to move pre-emptively as a way of avoiding, or mitigating, the impacts of a disaster.

    It specifically provides for citizens of IGAD Member States to cross borders ‘in anticipation of, during or in the aftermath of disaster’, and enables disaster-affected people to remain in another country as long as return to their country of origin ‘is not possible or reasonable’.

    The IGAD Protocol could provide inspiration and impetus for the use of free movement elsewhere in Africa as well. In the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the East African Community (EAC), free movement agreements are already in place. But it is not yet clear how disaster-affected communities in these regions will access free movement arrangements, or be protected from rejection or return when crossing an international border.

    The need for African governments to further consider the role of free movement in addressing disaster and climate change displacement in Africa was the subject of a regional meeting in South Africa last year. Policymakers and experts agreed that free movement could provide some of the communities most vulnerable to climate change access to safety and opportunities for more sustainable livelihoods.

    One of the advantages of using free movement arrangements to address displacement is that it obviates the need to impose specific, and sometimes artificial, distinctions between those who move. While refugee protection depends on a person meeting the technical, legal criteria of a refugee, free movement is generally available to all citizens of Member States of the same region. In some cases, a passport is not even required – possession of a national identity card may be enough to facilitate entry and stay elsewhere.

    The progressive realisation of free movement is a continent-wide goal in Africa. The African Union (AU) ‘Agenda 2063’ sets out a vision of an integrated Africa, where people and goods move freely between countries. In 2018, the AU adopted the continent-wide Protocol Relating to Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment. The IGAD Protocol could provide a first step in supporting the other African regions and countries to develop specific frameworks and guidelines for the use of free movement in the context of disaster and climate change.

    For the potential of the IGAD Free Movement Protocol to be realised in reality, implementation is key. At present, regional and sub-regional free movement agreements across Africa’s various RECs may be undermined by restrictive laws and policies at the national level, or by onerous documentation requirements for those who move. The IGAD Roadmap to Implementation, adopted together with the Protocol, sets out specific measures to be taken by IGAD Member States when putting free movement arrangements into practice.

    The adoption of the IGAD Protocol presents a cause for celebration. It also presents a timely opportunity to further consider how countries in Africa can provide avenues to safety and security for the large, and increasing, numbers of people who move in the context of natural hazards, disasters and climate change. Action taken now could ensure the benefits of free movement for vulnerable communities well into the future.


    #réfugiés #réfugiés_climatiques #réfugiés_environnementaux #asile #migrations #changement_climatique #climat #pacte #accord #Afrique #sécheresse #inondations #dégradations_environnementales #Somalie #Ethiopie #Soudan_du_Sud #liberté_de_mouvement #liberté_de_circulation

    ping @karine4

  • The #Climate-Migration-Industrial_Complex

    Thirty years ago there were fifteen border walls around the world. Now there are seventy walls and over one billion national and international migrants. International migrants alone may even double in the next forty years due to global warming. It is not surprising that over the past two decades, we have also seen the rise of an increasingly powerful global climate-security market designed to profit from (and help sustain) these crises. The construction of walls and fences to block rising sea levels and incoming people has become one of the world’s fastest growing industries, alongside the detention and deportation of migrants, and is projected to reach $742 billion by 2023. I believe we are witnessing the emergence of what we might call a “climate-migration-industrial complex.”

    This complex is composed of private companies who profit by securitizing nation-states from the effects of climate-related events, including migration. This includes private detention centers, border construction companies, surveillance technology consultants and developers, deportation and transportation contractors, and a growing army of other subcontractors profiting from insecurity more broadly. Every feature of this crisis complex is an opportunity for profit. For example, even when security measures “fail” and migrants cross borders illegally, or remain beyond their visas to live without status as “criminals,” there is an entire wing of private companies paid to hunt them down, detain them, and deport them just across the border, where they can return and begin the market cycle all over again. Each step in the “crimmigration” process now has its own cottage industry and dedicated army of lobbyists to perpetuate the laws that support it.

    Here is the incredible double paradox that forms the backbone of the climate-migration-industrial complex: right-wing nationalists and their politicians claim they want to deport all undocumented migrants, but if they did, they would destroy their own economy. Capitalists, on the other hand, want to grow the economy with migrant labor (any honest economist will tell you that immigration almost always leads to growth in GDP), but if that labor is too expensive, then it’s not nearly as profitable.

    Trump is the Janus-faced embodiment of this anti-immigrant, pro-economy dilemma and the solution to it — not that he necessarily knows it. With one hand, migrant labor is strategically criminalized and devalorized by a xenophobic state, and with the other, it is securitized and hyper-exploited by the economy. It is a win-win situation for right-wing capitalists but a crucial element is still missing: what will continue to compel migrants to leave their homes and work as exploited criminals in an increasingly xenophobic country?

    This is where the figure of the climate migrant comes in. What we call “climate migrants” or “climate refugees” are not the victims of merely “natural disasters,” because climate change is not a strictly natural process — it is also highly political. The causes of climate-related migration are disproportionately produced by rich Western countries and the effects are disproportionately suffered by poorer countries. The circumstances that determine who is forced to migrate are also influenced by the history of colonialism, global inequality, and the same conditions that have propelled economic migration for decades. In short, the fact that climate change benefits the perpetrators of climate destruction by producing an increasing supply of desperate, criminalized, physically and economically displaced laborers is no coincidence. In fact, it is the key to the Trump “solution.”

    Another key is the use of climate change to acquire new land. When people are forced to migrate out of a territory, or when frozen territories thaw, new lands, waters, and forests become open to extractive industries like mining, drilling, fishing, and logging. Trump’s recent (and ridiculous) bid to buy the thawing territory of Greenland for its oil and gas reserves is one example of this. Climate-stricken urban areas open up new real estate markets, as the gentrification of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina illustrated. In other words, climate change might not mean the end of capitalism, but rather could actually signal its resurgence from current falling rates of ecological profit. During colonialism, everything and everyone that could be easily appropriated (oil, slaves, old-growth forests, etc.), was gobbled up. The workers who are left today under post-colonialism demand more money and more rights. The minerals left are more expensive to extract. This is why capitalists have increasingly retreated to financial speculation, and now to monetizing their own crises.

    If only there were new ways, the capitalist dreams, to kick start the economy and cheaply dislodge huge numbers of people from their land, devalorize their labor, and then appropriate that labor extremely cheaply. In other words, if climate change did not exist, capitalism would have to create it. Luckily for the capitalists, it does exist, because they did create it. Climate migrants now form what we might call a “disposable climate labor army,” conscripted out of a standing reserve of global poverty from wherever the next climate-related disaster strikes, and deployed wherever capitalism demands precarious, securitized, and criminalized labor to be exploited.

    We need to rethink the whole framing of the climate migration “crisis.” Among other things, we need a more movement-oriented political theory to grapple better with the highly mobile events of our time — what I call a “kinopolitics.” The advent of the Capitalocene/Kinocene makes possible today the insight that nature, humans, and society have always been in motion. Humans are and have always been fundamentally migratory, just as the climate and the earth are. These twin insights might sound obvious today, but if taken seriously, they offer a complete inversion of the dominant interpretive paradigms of the climate and migration crises.

    Humans and Earth have always been in motion, but not all patterns of motion are the same. There is no natural, normal, or default state of the earth or of human society. Therefore, we have to study the patterns of circulation that make possible these metastable states and not take them as given. This is what I have tried to work out in The Figure of the Migrant (2015) and Theory of the Border (2016). Unfortunately, the dominant framework for thinking about the climate and migrant crises is currently upside down. It starts from the perspective of a triple stasis: 1) that the earth and human society are in some sense separable and static, or at least stable, structures; 2) that the future should continue to be stable as well; and 3) that if there is not stability, then there is a “crisis.” Mobility, then, is a crisis only if we assume that there was or should be stasis in the first place. For example, migrants are said to destabilize society, and climate change is said to destabilize the earth.

    From a kinopolitical perspective, we can see that the opposite is, in fact, true: Humans were first migratory, and only later settled into more metastable patterns of social-circulation (made historically possible by the social expulsion and dispossession of others). Migrants are not outside society but have played a productive and reproductive role throughout history. Migrant movements are constitutive and even transformative elements of society, rather than exceptional or marginal phenomena. The real question is how we ever came to act and think as if societies were not processes of social circulation that relied on migration as their conditions of reproduction. The earth, too, was first migratory, and only later did it settle into metastable patterns of geological and atmospheric circulation (e.g. the Holocene). Why did we ever think of the earth as a stable surface, immune from human activity in the first place?

    The problem with the prevailing interpretation of climate change and migration is that the flawed paradigm that has defined the “crisis,” the notion of stasis, is also proposed as the solution “Let’s just get things back to normal stability again.” In short, I think a new paradigm is needed that does not use the same tools that generated the “crisis” to solve it — i.e. capitalism, colonialism, and the nation-state.

    Today’s migrant “crisis” is a product of the paradox at the heart of the capitalist, territorial nation-state form, just as the climate crisis is an expression of the paradox at the heart of anthropocentrism. The solutions, therefore, will not come from the forms in crisis but only from the birth of new forms-in-motion that begin with the theoretical primacy of the very characteristic that is dissolving the old forms: the inherent mobility of the migrant climate and the climate migrant.


    #complexe_militaro-industriel #réfugiés_environnementaux #réfugiés_climatiques #murs #barrières_frontalières #business #climat #changement_climatique #sécurité #rétention #détention_administrative #privatisation #contrôles_frontaliers #kinopolitics #kinopolitique #kinocène #mobilité #circulation #crise #stabilité #philosophie #ressources_pédagogiques #Etat-nation


    #catastrophes_naturelles :

    What we call “climate migrants” or “climate refugees” are not the victims of merely “natural disasters,” because climate change is not a strictly natural process — it is also highly political. The causes of climate-related migration are disproportionately produced by rich Western countries and the effects are disproportionately suffered by poorer countries. The circumstances that determine who is forced to migrate are also influenced by the history of colonialism, global inequality, and the same conditions that have propelled economic migration for decades. In short, the fact that climate change benefits the perpetrators of climate destruction by producing an increasing supply of desperate, criminalized, physically and economically displaced laborers is no coincidence.

    –-> @karine4

    #terres #accaparement_des_terres :

    Another key is the use of climate change to acquire new land. When people are forced to migrate out of a territory, or when frozen territories thaw, new lands, waters, and forests become open to extractive industries like mining, drilling, fishing, and logging.

    –-> @odilon
    #extractivisme #colonialisme


    @sinehebdo, un nouveau mot :
    –-> #crimmigration
    #mots #terminologie #vocabulaire

    Et aussi... la #kinocène


    Lien avec le #capitalisme :

    If only there were new ways, the capitalist dreams, to kick start the economy and cheaply dislodge huge numbers of people from their land, devalorize their labor, and then appropriate that labor extremely cheaply. In other words, if climate change did not exist, capitalism would have to create it. Luckily for the capitalists, it does exist, because they did create it. Climate migrants now form what we might call a “disposable climate labor army,” conscripted out of a standing reserve of global poverty from wherever the next climate-related disaster strikes, and deployed wherever capitalism demands precarious, securitized, and criminalized labor to be exploited.

    #expoitation #travail #disposable_climate_labor_army #pauvreté

    signalé par @isskein

    ping @fil @reka

  • Weak links: Challenging the climate & migration paradigm in the Horn of Africa & Yemen

    When mobility drivers are scrutinised and climate change is found to play a role in movement, it remains difficult to determine the extent of its influence. This paper will show that although conditions in the Horn of Africa and Yemen are variously characterised by conflict, authoritarian regimes, poor governance, poverty, and mass displacement, along with harsh environments that produce negative climate change impacts, there is scant evidence that these impacts cause intercontinental and interregional mixed migration. The linkages are hard to locate. Climate change and environmental stressors cannot easily be disaggregated from the wide range of factors affecting populations, and even where some disaggregation is evident the results are not seen in the volume, direction, or destination choices of those affected.

    #rapport #immobilité #immobilité_involontaire #mobilité #migrations #réfugiés_climatiques #réfugiés_environnementaux #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Corne_de_l'Afrique #Yémen #changement_climatique #climat #mixed_migration_centre

    –-> citation:
    “There is a strong likelihood that involuntary immobility will become the biggest and most relevant issue in the Horn of Africa when it comes to the link between environmental stress and mobility”

    –-> Cette idée de “involuntary immobility” me semble très intéressante à amener car le discours ambiant se focalise sur “migration subie/choisie” "migration volontaire/forcée"...
    #catégorie #catégorisation (ping @karine4)
    #migration_subie #migration_choisie #migration_volontaire #migration_forcée

    ping @reka

  • Historic UN Human Rights case opens door to climate change asylum claims

    In its first ruling on a complaint by an individual seeking asylum from the effects of climate change, the UN Human Rights Committee* has stated that countries may not deport individuals who face climate change-induced conditions that violate the right to life.

    In 2015, #Ioane_Teitiota ’s asylum application in New Zealand was denied, and he was deported with his wife and children to his home country of #Kiribati. He filed a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee, arguing that by deporting him, New Zealand had violated his right to life. Mr. Teitiota argued that the rise in sea level and other effects of climate change had rendered Kiribati uninhabitable for all its residents. Violent land disputes occurred because habitable land was becoming increasingly scarce. Environmental degradation made subsistence farming difficult, and the freshwater supply was contaminated by salt water.

    The Committee determined that in Mr. Teitiota’s specific case, New Zealand’s courts did not violate his right to life at the time of the facts, because the thorough and careful evaluation of his testimony and other available information led to the determination that, despite the serious situation in Kiribati, sufficient protection measures were put in place. “Nevertheless,” said Committee expert Yuval Shany, “this ruling sets forth new standards that could facilitate the success of future climate change-related asylum claims.”

    The Committee also clarified that individuals seeking asylum status are not required to prove that they would face imminent harm if returned to their countries. The Committee reasoned that climate change-induced harm can occur both through sudden-onset events (such as intense storms and flooding), and slow-onset processes (such as sea level rise, salinization and land degradation). Both sudden-onset events and slow-onset processes can prompt individuals to cross borders to seek protection from climate change-related harm.

    The Committee also highlighted the role that the international community must play in assisting countries adversely affected by climate change. The Committee stated that without robust national and international efforts, the effects of climate change in sending states may trigger the #non-refoulement obligations of receiving states and that – given that the risk of an entire country becoming submerged under water is such an extreme risk – the conditions of life in such a country may become incompatible with the right to life with dignity before the risk is realized.

    The ruling marks the first decision by a UN human rights treaty body on a complaint by an individual seeking asylum protection from the effects of climate change.

    See the full Human Rights Committee ruling here: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR/C/127/D/2728/2016&Lang=en


    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #réfugiés_climatiques #réfugiés_environnementaux #UN #ONU #renvois #expulsions #refoulement #Nouvelle_Zélande #justice #droit_à_la_vie #inhabitabilité #dignité

    Sur ce cas, déjà signalé sur seenthis:
    En 2015: https://seenthis.net/messages/391645
    En 2013: https://seenthis.net/messages/187732

    ping @isskein @karine4 @reka

  • Climate change ’impacts women more than men’ - BBC News

    Women are more likely than men to be affected by climate change, studies show.

    UN figures indicate that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women.

    Roles as primary caregivers and providers of food and fuel make them more vulnerable when flooding and drought occur.

  • Plusieurs millions de nouveaux réfugiés et déplacés climatiques en 2019

    Un porte-parole du Haut-commissariat aux réfugiés (HCR) de l’ONU a déclaré mercredi que des millions de nouveaux déplacés et réfugiés climatiques étaient apparus en 2019, dont près de 750 000 personnes pour la seule Somalie, en proie à d’intenses aléas climatiques.

    “Le bruit du vent nous a réveillés en pleine nuit. Quelques instants plus tard, de l’eau a commencé à entrer chez nous. Nous avons seulement réussi à attraper nos enfants avant de nous enfuir vers une zone surélevée.” Rafael Domingo, un père de quatre enfants, a tout perdu lors du passage du cyclone Idaien mars dernier au Mozambique. Comme lui, 73 000 personnes se sont retrouvées sans-abri, ne laissant d’autre choix que de fuir les zones sinistrées, ont raconté de nombreux témoins à l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM).

    Qu’ils changent simplement de région ou qu’ils quittent leur pays après une catastrophe naturelle, ces hommes et ces femmes incarnent une catégorie de migrants dont on parle peu : les déplacés et les réfugiés climatiques. Selon le Conseiller spécial sur l’action pour le climat du HCR, Andrew Harper, “rien que sur la première moitié de l’année, les tempêtes, les inondations et autres catastrophes ont provoqué plusieurs millions de nouveaux déplacements”.

    Dans un discours alarmant prononcé à la COP 25 de Madrid, mercredi 11 décembre, le porte-parole onusien explique que “les changements climatiques amplifient la fréquence et l’intensité des catastrophes naturelles et qu’ils contribuent à fragiliser les populations et à déclencher des conflits”. Il estime par conséquent que “davantage de personnes seront menacées de déplacement à moins qu’une action urgente ne soit prise.”

    Outre les catastrophes naturelles, Andrew Harper s’est dit “particulièrement préoccupé” par l’épuisement des ressources naturelles, la diminution des rendements agricoles ou encore la pénurie de bétail qui deviennent “des multiplicateurs de menaces de conflit et d’instabilité pouvant conduire à des crises humanitaires et à de nouveaux déplacements, à la fois en interne et au-delà des frontières.”

    En première ligne de ces menaces climatiques, la région du Sahel voit déjà des effets dévastateurs. “En Somalie, un pays hautement vulnérable aux changements climatiques, plus de 746 000 personnes ont été déplacées au sein du pays cette année à cause de l’intensification de la sécheresse, mais aussi des inondations monstres et des conflits”, souligne Andrew Harper.

    Dans les régions fragiles, souvent frappées par les catastrophes naturelles, les déplacés parviennent rarement à retrouver leur ancienne vie. “Beaucoup d’entre nous ne pourrons jamais rentrer chez eux. La sécheresse en Somalie revient tout le temps. Les habitants n’ont pas assez de temps ou de moyens pour se remettre sur pieds à chaque fois”, a expliqué à l’OIM Halima, une mère de trois enfants déplacée en Somalie à cause de la sécheresse.
    Plus de 250 millions de réfugiés climatiques en 2050
    Dans son dernier rapport sur la paix dans le monde paru en juin, l’Institute for Economics and Peace, un think tank australien, estimait à 18 millions le nombre de personnes forcées à quitter leur foyer à cause d’une catastrophe naturelle. Cela correspond à plus de 60% de l’intégralité des déplacements dans le monde en 2017.
    Les auteurs du même rapport notent également qu’actuellement, près d’un milliard de personnes vivent dans des zones “hautement à très hautement” exposées aux aléas climatiques. Ainsi, des millions de personnes risquent de se déplacer ou migrer dans un futur proche. La Banque mondiale estime que d’ici 2050, on dénombrera 143 millions de migrants climatiques originaires d’Afrique sub-saharienne, d’Asie du sud-est et d’Amérique latine. Au total, ils pourraient même dépasser les 250 millions à l’échelle de la planète, selon les prévisions de l’ONU.

    Depuis la COP 25 Madrid, le HCR a appelé à “une action urgente” notamment en mettant en place des systèmes de prévision et d’alerte précoce améliorés ainsi que des stratégies de réduction des risques. Il s’agit également “d’intensifier les efforts d’adaptation et de résilience” en diversifiant, par exemple, les sources de revenus des populations fragiles qui dépendent souvent entièrement de l’agriculture ou de la pêche, par exemple.

    L’agence onusienne appelle également les pays accueillant des réfugiés à instaurer un véritable cadre de protection pour les populations déplacées par le climat. À ce jour, les catastrophes naturelles et autres événements dus au réchauffement de la planète ne constituent pas un argument permettant de demander l’asile, les déplacés environnementaux n’ont d’ailleurs aucun statut juridique défini comme c’est le cas pour les réfugiés. La Suède fait toutefois figure de pionnière en la matière en reconnaissant depuis 2005, le droit à la protection pour les personnes victimes de catastrophes environnementales. Depuis 2009, une quarantaine de pays africains a également ratifié la Convention de Kampala sur la protection et l’assistance des déplacés environnementaux inter-Afrique.

    Les questions climatiques occuperont une place de choix à l’occasion du tout premier Forum mondial sur les réfugiés, les 17 et 18 décembre prochains à Genève, puisqu’il s’agira de l’un des six thèmes fondamentaux discutés et pouvant, comme l’espère Andrew Harper du HCR, donner lieu à des actions concrètes dès 2020.

    #IDPs #réfugiés_climatiques #réfugiés_environnmentaux #déplacés_internes #asile #migrations #réfugiés #climat #prévisions #Somalie #sans-abri #catastrophe_naturelle #changements_climatiques #Sahel #COP_25 #risques #protection #statut #Convention_de_Kampala

    Lien entre changements climatiques et #conflits :

    Outre les catastrophes naturelles, #Andrew_Harper s’est dit “particulièrement préoccupé” par l’épuisement des ressources naturelles, la diminution des rendements agricoles ou encore la pénurie de bétail qui deviennent “des multiplicateurs de menaces de conflit et d’#instabilité pouvant conduire à des #crises_humanitaires et à de nouveaux déplacements, à la fois en interne et au-delà des frontières.”


    • Asile : réfugié climatique, un statut non reconnu mais qui compte

      L’ONU prévoit 250 millions de réfugiés climatiques d’ici à 2050 dont une grande partie sera issue d’une Afrique sub-saharienne pas assez résiliente face à l’intensification des catastrophes naturelles. Le phénomène pourrait amplifier les départs de migrants vers l’Europe, sauf que le statut de réfugié climatique n’y est pas reconnu.

      Sécheresses, inondations, ouragans : les épisodes météorologiques dévastateurs sont de plus en plus fréquents et de plus en plus intenses sous l’effet du changement climatique. Si aucune région du monde n’est épargnée, toutes n’ont pas la même propension à la résilience ni les mêmes capacités de reconstruction.

      En Afrique sub-saharienne, au Moyen-Orient ou en Asie, des pans entiers de population sont déjà contraints de quitter leur région ou même leur pays d’origine pour tenter de tout recommencer ailleurs. Ce sont des “réfugiés climatiques”.

      Si le terme est apparu pour la première fois en 1985 dans un rapport du Programme des Nations Unies pour l’environnement (PNUE), il n’existe à ce jour dans le monde aucun statut juridique pour ces déplacés environnementaux. La Suède fait toutefois figure de pionnière en la matière en reconnaissant depuis 2005, le droit à la protection pour les personnes victimes de catastrophes environnementales. Depuis 2009, une quarantaine de pays africains a également ratifié la Convention de Kampala sur la protection et l’assistance des déplacés environnementaux inter-Afrique. Et plus récemment, début novembre, la Nouvelle-Zélande a annoncé se pencher sur la création d’un visa spécial pour les réfugiés climatiques du Pacifique.

      Reste que pour la plupart des pays de la planète, le changement climatique ne peut justifier une demande d’asile. En France, notamment, “ce n’est pas un argument recevable en tant que tel, mais il peut être pris en compte et ajouté au dossier dans certains cas”, indique une porte-parole de France Terre d’Asile, contactée par InfoMigrants. “Si le changement climatique vous force, par exemple, à partir de chez vous pour une région où votre ethnie est mal acceptée ou menacée, l’argument pourra être entendu. Mais on ne reconnaît que ce qui est de la main de l’Homme. Le climat ne peut être utilisé que comme un élément de compréhension au dossier”, précise l’ONG.

      “Une crise migratoire en Europe ? Attendez de voir dans 20 ans...”

      Selon les estimations de l’ONU, le monde comptera au moins 250 millions de réfugiés climatiques d’ici 2050. En moins de 10 ans, les dangers liés au climat “déplacent en moyenne 21,7 millions de personnes par an, soit 59 600 par jour”, souligne Steve Trent, directeur exécutif de la Fondation pour la justice environnementale (EJF), dans un rapport publié début novembre. “Si l’Europe pense avoir un problème avec la crise migratoire actuelle, attendez de voir dans 20 ans quand les conséquences du changement climatique forcera des millions de personnes à quitter l’Afrique”, enchérit le général Stephen Cheney, retraité de l’armée américaine, cité par le rapport.

      “Il faut regarder les choses en face : l’Afrique a une population jeune et de plus en plus éduquée. L’enseignement est dispensé dans des langues comme l’anglais, le français, l’espagnol, le portugais… alors bien sûr, l’Europe est une meilleure destination aux yeux de ces jeunes [...] Et il est impossible d’arrêter cette migration”, explique Ibrahim Thiaw, directeur exécutif de l’agence pour l’environnement de l’ONU, joint à Nairobi par InfoMigrants.

      Parmi les régions les plus vulnérables : le Sahel, jusqu’à la Somalie, affirme-t-il, des régions où la production agricole est cruciale. Elle représente par exemple 30% du produit intérieur brut en Sierra Leone, au Liberia ou en Centrafrique. Dix-sept des vingt pays les plus dépendants à l’agriculture au monde se trouvent en Afrique sub-saharienne.

      Le changement climatique, un amplificateur des conflits

      “En combinant l’accroissement démographique -l’Afrique comptera 2 milliards d’habitants en 2050- à la dégradation des ressources naturelles et leur mauvaise gestion, la seule issue possible c’est la migration, poursuit Ibrahim Thiaw. Les déplacés climatiques sont un phénomène déjà présent, qui s’accentue de jour en jour sans que l’on puisse véritablement le quantifier car beaucoup de paramètres entrent en jeu et nous n’avons même pas de définition claire de ce qu’est un réfugié climatique.”

      Un statut qui pourrait ne jamais être reconnu internationalement, bien que le rôle du changement climatique dans les conflits actuels soit démontrable. “En Syrie, on comptait déjà 1,3 et 1,5 million de personnes fuyant la sécheresse avant même que la guerre ne commence. Personne ne dit que le changement climatique est la raison du conflit syrien, mais il est à ne pas en douter un ‘amplificateur des menaces’ pouvant mener à des violences”, argue Steve Trent de l’EJF.

      Si Ibrahim Thiaw de l’ONU ne croit pas, pour l’heure, à une convention mondiale sur les réfugiés climatiques, il exhorte la communauté internationale mettre en place et appliquer des accords régionaux sur le modèle de la Convention de Kampala encore trop méconnue. Il encourage aussi les potentiels migrants à bien réfléchir à leur projet migratoire avant de se lancer aveuglément sur des routes souvent dangereuses à travers le désert, les forêts tropicales ou la Méditerranée. “Un pays comme l’Ouganda est très accueillant. Il n’y a pas de camp de réfugiés et ils sont exemplaires sur l’intégration”, conclut-il.


    • Groundswell : Preparing for Internal Climate Migration

      This report, which focuses on three regions—Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America that together represent 55 percent of the developing world’s population—finds that climate change will push tens of millions of people to migrate within their countries by 2050. It projects that without concrete climate and development action, just over 143 million people—or around 2.8 percent of the population of these three regions—could be forced to move within their own countries to escape the slow-onset impacts of climate change. They will migrate from less viable areas with lower water availability and crop productivity and from areas affected by rising sea level and storm surges. The poorest and most climate vulnerable areas will be hardest hit. These trends, alongside the emergence of “hotspots” of climate in- and out-migration, will have major implications for climate-sensitive sectors and for the adequacy of infrastructure and social support systems. The report finds that internal climate migration will likely rise through 2050 and then accelerate unless there are significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and robust development action.


  • “You can’t make a living here anymore.” The Honduran climate-movers

    Te espero como la lluvia de mayo. I wait for you like the rain of May — a popular refrain among farmers in Central America, where the first rainfall in May long signaled the end of the dry season. But over the past decade, in what is known as the Central American Dry Corridor — a vast swath that stretches, unbroken, from Guatemala to northern Costa Rica — the rain is no longer guaranteed. Farmers who used to count on two harvests every year are now fortunate to get one.

    In southern Honduras, valleys that were once lush and fertile are now filled with stunted cornstalks and parched riverbeds. Adobe shacks erode on mountainsides, abandoned by those who left with no intention of returning.

    The droughts have forced entire generations to migrate in search of jobs; left behind are the elderly, who often care for grandchildren when their parents depart. “You can’t make a living here anymore,” says José Tomás Aplicano, who is 76 and a lifelong resident of Apacilagua, a village in southern Honduras. Aplicano has watched as countless neighbors, and his own children, moved away. His youngest daughter, Maryori, is the last to stay behind, but he knows she will leave as soon as she finishes high school. “She has to look for another environment to see if she finds work to survive,” he says.

    Many head north; U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data shows that migration from the Dry Corridor has spiked over the past few years. Some spend seasons harvesting coffee or sugar cane in less affected areas of the country. Others move to the city, lured by the prospect of a factory job with steady pay.

    #photographie #changement_climatique #migrations #réfugiés_environnementaux #réfugiés_climatiques #réfugiés #asile #sécheresse

    Et un nouveau mot, en anglais:
    #terminologie #mots #vocabulaire
    ping @sinehebdo


    see as well:
    Why the Migrant Caravan Story Is a Climate Change Story

  • El clima cambiante obliga a emigrar a los guatemaltecos desesperados

    Eduardo Méndez López alza la vista al cielo esperando ver nubes cargadas de lluvia.

    Tras meses subsistiendo casi exclusivamente a base de tortillas de maíz y sal, sus ojos y sus mejillas parecen hundidos, y solo una piel fina se extiende sobre el hueso. La mayoría de sus vecinos tienen ese mismo aspecto.

    Es el punto álgido de la estación lluviosa en Guatemala, pero en la aldea de Conacaste, Chiquimula, las precipitaciones llegaron meses más tarde y, a continuación, se detuvieron. Los cultivos de Méndez López se marchitaron y murieron antes de poder producir maíz. Ahora, con un suministro de alimentos menguante y sin fuentes de ingresos, se pregunta cómo podrá alimentar a sus seis hijos pequeños.

    «Es la peor sequía que hemos tenido», afirma Méndez López, tocando la tierra seca con la punta de la bota. «Lo hemos perdido absolutamente todo. Si las cosas no mejoran, tendremos que emigrar a otra parte. No podemos seguir así».

    Guatemala suele aparecer en la lista de los 10 países más vulnerables del mundo a los efectos del cambio climático. Los patrones climáticos cada vez más erráticos han provocado pérdidas de cosechas año tras año y la disminución de las oportunidades laborales en el país, haciendo que cada vez más personas como Méndez López piensen en la emigración como medida desesperada para huir de los niveles disparados de inseguridad alimentaria y pobreza.

    De media, en la última década, 24 millones de personas al año se han visto desplazadas por los fenómenos meteorológicos en el mundo y, aunque no está claro cuántos desplazamientos pueden atribuirse al cambio climático antropogénico, los expertos prevén que esta cifra seguirá aumentando.

    Cada vez más, los desplazados intentan trasladarse a otros países como «refugiados del cambio climático», pero existe un problema: la Convención sobre el Estatuto de los Refugiados de 1951, que define los derechos de las personas desplazadas, aporta una lista de elementos de los que deben huir las personas para que se les garantice asilo o refugio. El cambio climático no figura en la lista.

    Los datos de la Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza de los Estados Unidos muestran un gran aumento de la cantidad de inmigrantes guatemaltecos, sobre todo familias y menores no acompañados, interceptados en la frontera estadounidense a partir de 2014. No es una coincidencia que este repunte haya tenido lugar junto con la aparición de condiciones graves de sequía relacionadas con El Niño en el Corredor Seco de Centroamérica, que se extiende por Guatemala, Honduras y El Salvador.

    Para entender la tendencia alcista en la emigración de esta región, un gran estudio interinstitucional dirigido por el Programa Mundial de Alimentos (PMA) de la ONU ha entrevistado a familias de distritos fundamentales del Corredor Seco acerca de las presiones que les obligan a marcharse. El principal «factor impulsor» identificado no fue la violencia, sino la sequía y sus consecuencias: falta de alimento, de dinero y de trabajo.

    Sus hallazgos sugieren una relación clara entre la variabilidad climática, la inseguridad alimentaria y la migración, y aportan una perspectiva alarmante de lo que está por venir al empezar a observar efectos reales del cambio climático en el mundo.
    ¿Un país en crisis?

    Para Diego Recalde, director de la FAO en Guatemala, la tendencia actual de migración masiva ante la inseguridad alimentaria y la sequía supone un claro indicador de que el país lleva un tiempo acercándose a una crisis inducida por el cambio climático.

    Las condiciones climáticas adversas en Guatemala afectan a la seguridad alimentaria reduciendo la producción agrícola tanto en la agricultura comercial como en la de subsistencia, limitando las oportunidades laborales en la agricultura que también suponen una parte importante de la economía nacional. Las crecientes tasas de pobreza y el hundimiento de los indicadores sociales pintan una perspectiva funesta para el país, que posee el cuarto nivel más alto de desnutrición crónica en el mundo y el más alto en Latinoamérica. Según el Programa Mundial de Alimentos, se considera que casi el 50 por ciento de los niños menores de cinco años sufren desnutrición crónica en Guatemala, porcentaje que alcanza el 90 por ciento o más en muchas zonas rurales.

    Para los agricultores de subsistencia como Méndez López, que dependen de las precipitaciones para producir los alimentos que comen, solo hacen falta unos pocos meses de patrones climáticos erráticos para limitar u obstaculizar por completo su capacidad de poner comida sobre la mesa. Con el aumento de la frecuencia y la gravedad de las sequías, a Recalde le preocupa que, en el caso de los sectores de población más vulnerables, lo peor esté aún por llegar.

    «Es un desastre nacional», afirma. «Debería haber banderas rojas por todas partes».

    Los científicos atribuyen las inusuales sequías que comenzaron en 2014 y que han acelerado el éxodo de familias hacia el norte a los efectos de El Niño, parte de un ciclo climático natural conocido como El Niño-Oscilación del Sur (ENOS), que provoca oscilaciones entre periodos más fríos y húmedos y otros más cálidos y secos en todo el mundo.
    La erupción del volcán Fuego cubre Guatemala de ceniza y roca

    Este tipo de variabilidad climática natural ha afectado a Guatemala y a otros países Centroamericanos durante cientos —si no miles— de años, llegando a desempeñar un papel en las sequías que acompañaron al derrumbe de la antigua civilización maya.

    «El clima siempre ha sido muy variable aquí», explica Edwin Castellanos, director del Centro para el Estudio del Medio Ambiente y la Biodiversidad en la Universidad del Valle en Guatemala. «Ahora, el problema es que El Niño y La Niña se han vuelto más fuertes e intensos, pero también más erráticos».
    ¿Es culpa del cambio climático?

    Aunque puede parecer que el cambio climático es el impulsor de estas bruscas oscilaciones meteorológicas, es importante distinguir los periodos de variabilidad climática y las modificaciones a largo plazo del cambio climático. Este último se convierte enseguida en una cuestión de política, negociaciones internacionales y reclamaciones por daños y pérdidas según el Acuerdo de París.

    Aunque los científicos saben que El Niño contribuye a los aumentos de la temperatura global, todavía no está claro si el cambio climático antropogénico hace que El Niño se intensifique y ocurra con más frecuencia.

    «Por definición, el cambio climático debería modelarse en periodos de 50 años. Pero lo que los modelos dicen que debería ocurrir en 2050 ya ocurre ahora», afirma Castellanos, refiriéndose a las alteraciones de los patrones de precipitaciones y los niveles de aridez en Guatemala. «La pregunta es: ¿es la variabilidad más alta de lo normal?».

    La falta de datos meteorológicos históricos hace que sea más difícil demostrar la existencia de un vínculo claro entre el cambio climático antropogénico y un aumento de la variabilidad climática. Sin embargo, Castellanos, uno de los principales expertos en cambio climático de Guatemala, cree que es complicado ignorar la transformación que ha visto de primera mano a lo largo de su vida.

    «Todavía nos queda mucho camino por recorrer antes de concluir científicamente que lo que observamos ahora está fuera de lo normal. Pero si sales al campo y preguntas a cualquiera si esto es normal, todo el mundo te dice que no».

    Ya se atribuya a El Niño o al calentamiento global, la situación en Guatemala pinta una perspectiva vívida de las vulnerabilidades que quedan expuestas cuando las sociedades carecen de la capacidad para hacer frente y adaptarse al clima cambiante.
    Economía vulnerable, aldeas vulnerables

    En años anteriores, las familias afectadas por un mal año de cosechas buscaban trabajo como temporeros en explotaciones comerciales y ganaban el dinero suficiente para comprar alimentos básicos como maíz y judías. Pero este año no hay trabajo. Hasta las explotaciones agrícolas comerciales consolidadas se han visto afectadas por la sequía de este año, un presagio de que surgirán mayores problemas a medida que los cultivos sensibles al clima que componen la mayor parte de las exportaciones agrícolas fundamentales (y del mercado laboral nacional) de Guatemala sufren los efectos del aumento de las temperaturas y los desastres vinculados al clima, cada vez más frecuentes.

    Hoy, hacia el final de otra «estación lluviosa» que no ha traído lluvias, muchas comunidades rurales parecen estar atrapadas en una vorágine catastrófica vertiginosa. Años de meteorología errática, cosechas perdidas y una escasez crónica de oportunidades de empleo han erosionado poco a poco las estrategias que las familias guatemaltecas habían conseguido usar para hacer frente a uno o dos años de sequías sucesivas y cosechas perdidas. Pero ahora, aldeas enteras parecen estar derrumbándose desde dentro a medida que cada vez más comunidades se quedan aisladas, a horas de la ciudad más cercana, sin alimento, trabajo o forma de buscar ayuda.

    «No hay transporte. La gente se ha quedado sin dinero para pagar las tarifas, de forma que los autobuses ya no pasan por aquí», afirma José René Súchite Ramos de El Potrerito, Chiquimula. «Queremos irnos, pero no podemos».

    Muchos describen la situación actual como la más desesperada que han vivido nunca. En el asentamiento de Plan de Jocote, Chiquimula, los cultivos de Gloria Díaz no han producido maíz.

    «Aquí, al 95 por ciento nos han afectado las sequías que comenzaron en 2014, pero este año lo hemos perdido todo, hasta las semillas», afirma Díaz. «Nos hemos quedado atrapados, sin salida. No podemos planificar la segunda cosecha y nos hemos quedado sin los recursos que teníamos para poder comer».

    Como otros miembros de su comunidad, Díaz ha recurrido a buscar raíces de malanga en la naturaleza en un intento por mantener a raya el hambre, pero estas también escasean. Sin una fuente fiable de agua potable, los brotes de diarrea y sarpullidos son cada vez más habituales, sobre todo entre los niños.

    En el departamento vecino de El Progreso, la hermana Edna Morales pasa muchos días recorriendo en burro las montañas secas que rodean la pequeña localidad de San Agustín Acasaguastlán en busca de niños desnutridos cuyas familias son demasiado pobres o estén demasiado débiles para buscar ayuda. En la actualidad, el centro de alimentación nutricional que dirige funciona a plena capacidad.

    «Estos niños tienen muchos problemas de salud que se ven agravados por una grave desnutrición crónica. Se les cae el pelo o son incapaces de caminar», explica. «Cuando vives aquí, se oye hablar de muchos casos de niños que mueren de desnutrición. Ni siquiera aparecen en las noticias».

    No son solo los niños quienes sufren las consecuencias de la grave escasez de alimento y la pobreza aplastante. En Chiquimula, Díaz muestra una antigua fotografía de grupo de la organización comunitaria que preside, la Asociación de Mujeres Progresistas del Sector Plan del Jocote. Señala una por una a las mujeres que han fallecido o que están muriendo lentamente por causas evitables que la pobreza extrema y la desnutrición han vuelto intratables.

    Cuando los agricultores de subsistencia pierden sus cosechas, se ven obligados a comprar los alimentos básicos que acostumbran a cultivar —normalmente a precios muy inflados— para dar de comer a sus familias. Sin una fuente de ingresos, este gasto adicional deja a muchos sin los recursos económicos para permitirse otras necesidades básicas como las medicinas o el transporte a centros médicos.

    A medida que el hambre obliga a padres desesperados a recurrir a medidas desesperadas para alimentar a sus familias, los robos y los ataques violentos se han disparado.

    «Gente de nuestra propia comunidad empieza a robar a otras personas porque es la única opción que tienen», afirma Marco Antonio Vásquez, líder comunitario de la aldea de El Ingeniero en Chiquimula.
    Migraciones masivas

    Muchos consideran la emigración la última opción, por sus enormes riesgos para la seguridad personal y las consecuencias impensables si son incapaces de completar su viaje.

    «Mucha gente se marcha, mucha más que nunca», afirma Vásquez. «Se van a Estados Unidos en busca de un nuevo futuro, llevándose consigo a los niños pequeños porque tienen la presión de arriesgarlo todo».

    Quienes tienen casas o pequeñas parcelas de tierra las usan como aval para pagar a los contrabandistas humanos conocidos como «coyotes» entre 8.800 y 13.000 euros a cambio de tres oportunidades para atravesar la frontera hacia Estados Unidos. Pero familias de las regiones más pobres del país suelen verse obligadas a escoger la opción con las mínimas garantías y los mayores riesgos: ir solos, normalmente con niños pequeños a cuestas.

    En Ciudad de Guatemala, dos o tres aviones aterrizan cada día en la base de la Fuerza Aérea guatemalteca, cada uno con unos 150 ciudadanos guatemaltecos que han sido deportados o interceptados mientras intentaban cruzar a Estados Unidos. Muchos huyen del hambre y la pobreza extrema de su país natal.

    Ernesto, que nos pidió que cambiáramos su nombre, parecía agotado mientras esperaba en la fila para recoger una pequeña bolsa que contiene las pertenencias que le arrebataron cuando le interceptaron en la frontera estadounidense: sus cordones, un teléfono móvil maltrecho y una pequeña biblia. Su familia en Guatemala había puesto en juego su hogar y su subsistencia con la esperanza de que lograra cruzar y encontrara trabajo en Estados Unidos, lo que le permitiría apoyar a su familia. Era la segunda vez que lo deportaban.

    «Me queda una oportunidad. Si no lo consigo, estaré en graves problemas».


    #climat #changement_climatique #migrations #émigrations #Guatemala #réfugiés_climatiques #réfugiés_environnementaux

  • Bangladesh’s disappearing river lands

    ‘If the river starts eroding again, this area will be wiped off’.

    Every year in Bangladesh, thousands of hectares of land crumble into the rivers that wind through this South Asian nation, swallowing homes and pushing families away from their rural villages.

    This land erosion peaks during the June-to-October monsoon season, which brings torrential rains and swells the country’s rivers. This year, erosion destroyed the homes of at least 8,000 people in Bangladesh’s northern districts during heavy July floods that swept through the region and displaced at least 300,000 people across the country. Hundreds more households have been stranded in recent days.

    Rita Begum understands the dangers. Last year, she was one of some 44,000 people in Shariatpur, an impoverished district south of the capital, Dhaka, who lost their homes in what people here say was the worst erosion in seven years. Over four months, the Padma River gobbled up two square kilometres of silt land in Naria, a sub-district.

    Rita, a 51-year-old widow, saw her home and garden destroyed. Now, she lives on rented land in a makeshift shed pieced together with iron sheeting from the remnants of her old house.

    “I have no soil beneath my feet,” she said. “My relatives’ homes are now under water too.”

    Erosion has long been a part of life in Bangladesh, which sits on a massive river delta. The Padma’s rushing waters constantly shift and transform the shape of the river, eating away at its sandy banks. Deforestation, weather extremes, strong currents, and the accumulation of silt all contribute to erosion. But researchers say a warming climate is accelerating today’s risks by intensifying rains and floods – sinking communities deeper into poverty.

    The UN says Bangladesh is one of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change – and one of the least prepared for the rising sea levels, weather extremes, and food security threats that could follow.

    And the World Bank estimates there could be 13 million climate migrants here halfway through this century.

    Now, she lives on rented land in a makeshift shed pieced together with iron sheeting from the remnants of her old house.

    Bangladesh already faces frequent disasters, yet the yearly crises ignited by erosion see little of the spotlight compared to monsoon floods, landslides, and cyclones.

    “Even our policymakers don’t care about it, let alone the international community,” said Abu Syed, a scientist and a contributing author of a report by the UN body assessing climate research.

    But erosion is quietly and permanently altering Bangladesh’s landscape. From 1973 through 2017, Bangladesh’s three major rivers – the Padma, the Meghna, and the Jamuna – have engulfed more than 160,000 hectares of land, according to statistics provided by the UN. That’s roughly five times the land mass of the country’s capital.

    And the Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services, a government think-tank, forecasts that erosion could eat up another 4,500 hectares by the end of 2020, potentially displacing another 45,000 people.

    Experts who study Bangladesh’s rivers say the government response to erosion, while improving, has largely been ad hoc and temporary – sandbags thrown against already crumbling land, for example, rather than forward-looking planning to better adapt to the waterways.

    And many who have already lost their homes to erosion, like Rita, have struggled to rebuild their lives without land, or have been forced to join the 300,000 to 400,000 people each year estimated to migrate to teeming Dhaka driven in part by environmental pressures.

    Disaster deepens poverty, fuels migration

    Today Rita shares her shed with her three sons; she’s just scraping by, earning the equivalent of less than $4 a month as a maid. There is no running water or sanitation: Rita treks down a steep slope to fetch water from the same river that devoured her home.

    In nearby Kedarpur village, Aklima Begum, 57, lost not only her home, but her rickshaw-puller husband, who died when a chunk of earth crumpled from beneath a riverside market last August. The sudden collapse washed away 29 people, though some were later rescued.

    “We didn’t find his body,” Aklima said.

    Last year’s disaster has had a lasting impact on both rich and poor here. Year Baksh Laskar, a local businessman, saw most of his house vanish into the river, but he invited 70 neighbouring families to set up makeshift homes on his remaining land.

    “They are helpless,” he said. “Where will these people go?”

    With homes and farmland disappeared, many in the area have left for good, according to Hafez Mohammad Sanaullah, a local government representative.

    “This erosion is severe. People got scattered,” he said.

    Humanitarian aid helped to prevent hunger in the disaster’s aftermath last year, but emergency support doesn’t fix longer-term problems faced by a landless community. Sanaullah singled out housing and jobs as the two biggest problems: “People who used to do farming can’t do it any longer,” he said.

    Babur Ali, the municipality’s mayor, estimated at least 10 percent of the people displaced by last year’s erosion have moved to Dhaka or other urban areas in Bangladesh.

    The government’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, which oversees response and recovery programmes, is building three projects in the area to house some 5,000 erosion survivors, an official told The New Humanitarian.

    The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society said it has asked district officials for land to set up a “cluster village” – barrack-like housing where people share common facilities. But the land has not yet been granted, said Nazmul Azam Khan, the organisation’s director.
    Preparing for future threats

    The Bangladesh Water Development Board – the government agency that oversees the management of rivers – in December started a $130-million project intended to shield a nine-kilometre stretch of Naria from further erosion.

    This includes the dredging of waterways to remove excess sediment – which can divert a river’s flow and contribute to erosion – and installing sandbags and concrete blocks to buttress the steep riverbanks.

    There are also plans to erect structures in the river that would redirect water away from the fragile banks, said project head Prakash Krishna Sarker.

    But these changes are part of a three-year project; the bulk of the work wasn’t ready in time for this year’s monsoon season in Naria, and it won’t be finished by next year’s either.

    “People are concerned. If the river starts eroding again, this area will be wiped off,” said Sanaullah.Bangladesh’s government last year approved a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure plan to better manage the country’s rivers, including tackling erosion. AKM Enamul Hoque Shameem, the deputy minister for water resources, said the plans include dredging, river training, and bank protection. He told The New Humanitarian that erosion-vulnerable areas like Shariatpur are a “top priority”.
    Climate pressures

    But this work would be carried out over decades – the current deadline is the year 2100.

    By then, researchers say, the impacts of climate change will be in full force. A 2013 study published in the International Journal of Sciences forecasts that the amount of land lost annually due to erosion along Bangladesh’s three main rivers could jump by 18 percent by the end of the century.

    As with floods, drought, storms, and other disasters that strike each year, erosion is already pushing displaced Bangladeshis to migrate.

    Rabeya Begum, 55, was a resident of Naria until last August. After her home washed away, she packed up and fled to a Dhaka slum – the destination for most migrants pushed out by disasters or other environmental pressures.

    “I don’t feel good staying at my son-in-law’s house,” said Rabeya, who lost her husband to a stroke months after the erosion uprooted her.

    Life without her own land, she said, is like being “afloat in the water”.

    #Bangladesh #érosion #réfugiés_climatiques #réfugiés_environnementaux #migrations #inondations #climat #changement_climatique #Shariatpur #Dhaka #Padma_River #Naria #destruction #terre #sécurité_alimentaire #pauvreté

  • L’Isle de Jean-Charles vouée à disparaître en Louisiane Caroline Montpetit en Louisiane - 22 juin 2019 - Le devoir

    Les habitants de l’Isle de Jean-Charles, en Louisiane, sont les premiers réfugiés liés à la montée des eaux en Amérique. Visite d’une communauté en sursis et d’un pays à la merci de la mer.

    Lorsque le prêtre catholique Roch Naquin était enfant, les étendues de terre s’étendaient à des kilomètres derrière sa maison. Il allait y couper du bois avec ses frères pour faire du feu, et les aînés y cueillaient les plantes utilisées pour soigner les maladies. Autour de sa maison, des troupeaux de bétail paissaient en liberté. Le jardin et la mer fournissaient amplement de quoi manger.

    Son île, c’est l’Isle de Jean-Charles, dans la paroisse de Terrebonne, à 127 kilomètres au sud-ouest de La Nouvelle-Orléans, en Louisiane. Une étendue de 300 mètres sur 3 kilomètres de long, reliée au continent par une route, souvent rendue impraticable par les ouragans, les inondations et les marées. L’île, telle que les habitants l’ont connue dans leur jeunesse, a disparu sous les vagues d’eau salée que le golfe du Mexique fait entrer chaque année, de plus en plus loin à l’intérieur des terres. On dit que 98 % de la surface de l’île a ainsi disparu sous les eaux du golfe depuis 60 ans. En fait, l’ensemble de la côte louisianaise cède au golfe l’équivalent d’un terrain de football chaque heure.

    Derrière la maison du père Naquin, c’est désormais de l’eau que l’on voit à perte de vue, avec, au loin, un puits de pétrole qui surgit de la ligne d’horizon.

    Son voisin, Chris Brunet, a lui aussi vu le paysage se transformer depuis son enfance. « Ma soeur, qui a 16 ans de plus que moi, allait à la pêche à pied, avec pépère pis mémère. Moi, 16 ans plus tard, j’allais au même endroit avec mon père en pirogue », raconte-t-il.

    Des causes complexes
    Les causes de cette disparition graduelle de l’île sont complexes et multiples. Mais au premier rang des accusés, on trouve l’industrie du pétrole, qui a creusé des dizaines de milliers de kilomètres de canaux pour prospecter et extraire du pétrole et du gaz naturel du golfe. Ces canaux ont peu à peu grugé la terre. On montre aussi du doigt des digues qui ont été construites au nord-est, le long du Mississippi, après les inondations dévastatrices de 1927.

    « Ça a empêché l’eau douce de circuler jusqu’à nous, raconte Chris Brunet, l’un des habitants de l’île. Autrefois, on pouvait se rendre en pirogue jusqu’à La Nouvelle-Orléans. » Les digues empêchent aussi le fleuve Mississippi de distribuer chaque année le limon et les sédiments qui régénéraient la terre de toute la région. Et puis, il y a aussi la montée des océans, annoncée par les experts en changements climatiques, qui n’annonce rien qui vaille pour les prochaines décennies. « Les scientifiques parlent des changements climatiques, des gaz à effet de serre. J’imagine que ça doit jouer », dit-il.
    L’Isle de Jean-Charles en images : https://www.ledevoir.com/societe/environnement/557312/l-isle-de-jean-charles-en-images

    Autrefois si fertile, la terre de l’île, qui permettait aux habitants d’être autosuffisants, est désormais impropre à la culture, parce que trop salée. « Je m’ennuie de jardiner », soupire Denecia Billiot, 94 ans. Installée sur la galerie de sa maison, avec sa fille Theresa qui tricote à ses côtés, Mme Billiot se souvient de l’époque où elle cultivait un grand jardin derrière sa maison, où ses sept enfants ont grandi. Dans la maison voisine, sa petite-fille, Erica, vit avec son fils de six ans, Tristan. Malgré son grand âge et les difficultés d’accès à l’île par mauvais temps, quand la marée envahit la route, Mme Billiot a choisi de rester sur l’île. Sa petite-fille Erica aussi.

    « Si l’île coule, je vais la regarder couler », lance-t-elle.

    Quatre générations habitent ainsi dans ce petit coin de pays qui les a vues naître, et qu’elles vont peut-être voir disparaître. Quatre générations d’autochtones francophones, car la majorité des habitants de l’île appartiennent à la bande biloxi-chitimacha-choctaw, qui réunit des Autochtones de différentes ethnies. « Nous nous sommes unis pour être plus forts », raconte le chef Albert Naquin.

    Partir ou rester ?
    Mais tout cela ne sera plus qu’histoire ancienne d’ici quelques décennies. À cause du golfe qui mange de plus en plus la côte, la vie des habitants de l’Isle de Jean-Charles est tellement précaire que le gouvernement de la Louisiane a proposé un plan de relocalisation de sa population. Les habitants de l’île deviennent ainsi les premiers réfugiés liés à la montée des eaux d’Amérique. En janvier dernier, l’État a acheté pour 48 millions des terres situées à l’intérieur des côtes, quelques dizaines de milles au nord de Houma, à Shriever. Des terres, longées par la route 24, près d’une usine de Chevron, et qui n’ont aucun accès à l’eau. L’État de la Louisiane a promis d’y creuser un étang où on pourrait pêcher et d’y construire des maisons modernes.

    Déjà, de nombreux habitants ont quitté l’île, épuisés de faire face, année après année, aux inondations provoquées par les ouragans. Rita Falgout, effrayée par la montée des eaux qui envahit régulièrement la route d’accès à l’île, a décidé de partir lorsque son mari est devenu malade.

    « J’avais peur de l’eau, dit-elle, et peur de ne pas pouvoir sortir de l’île en cas de besoin. »

    Il y a à peine un an, elle a accepté la proposition du gouvernement lui offrant de déménager dans un appartement de la ville de Houma. Depuis, son mari est mort dans une maison de retraite, et Rita Falgout est revenue vivre auprès des siens à Pointe-aux-Chênes, près de l’Isle de Jean-Charles. « Mon frère ne voulait pas que je reste seule », dit-elle. Maintenant, elle a l’intention de profiter de la maison que lui propose de construire l’État à Shriever.

    Un plan contesté
    Mais le plan de relocalisation proposé ne fait pas l’affaire du chef de la bande biloxi-chitimacha-choctaw, Albert Naquin, qui conseille à ses membres de ne pas accepter le « forfait ». D’abord, il souhaiterait que le plan soit un projet de réunification de la bande. Cette communauté a déjà été lourdement touchée par les politiques américaines à l’égard des Autochtones.

    De leur côté, les fonctionnaires du gouvernement de la Louisiane souhaitent que le nouveau projet soit offert à tous, quelles que soient leur appartenance ethnique ou leur origine ethnique, sans projet précis de réunification d’une bande en particulier. Selon eux, certains habitants de l’Isle de Jean-Charles ne sont pas des Biloxi-Chitamacha-Choctaw, mais plutôt des membres de la nation houma, ou encore des non-Autochtones. Or, pour le chef Naquin, « le but, c’est de réunifier la bande ». Il dit d’ailleurs travailler « sur un autre plan », qui se réaliserait sans l’intervention de l’État.

    Le chef Naquin lui-même ne vit pourtant plus sur l’île depuis longtemps, mais bien dans la communauté voisine de Pointe-aux-Chênes, protégée par une toute nouvelle digue de 12 pieds. La maison familiale, où il est né, a été rasée par l’ouragan Betsy en 1965 et le chef a décidé de déménager à Pointe-aux-Chênes après l’ouragan Carmen, en 1973. « Si j’étais resté sur l’île, je serais probablement pauvre, parce qu’il faut tout refaire tous les trois ou quatre ans », raconte-t-il, devant sa maison de briques.

    À son avis, les membres de la bande biloxi-chitimacha-choctaw, qui ont hérité de maisons de l’Isle de Jean-Charles au fil des générations, n’ont pas les moyens de payer les frais inhérents à un déménagement dans une maison du gouvernement, en plus d’entretenir leur maison sur l’île.

    Nichées à 15 pieds de hauteur
    Autrefois, la maison du père Roch Naquin était construite sur des blocs de deux pieds, parce que le lieu n’était pas sujet aux inondations. « Puis, il y a eu l’ouragan Hilda qui nous a inondés, puis l’ouragan Carmen, et quelques autres. Mais il y a eu l’ouragan One, en 1985, on a reçu beaucoup d’eau. On a monté la maison sur huit pieds. On a été saufs pour quelques ouragans. Quand l’ouragan Lily s’est abattu au début des années 1990, nous inondant de nouveau, on l’a montée à 11 pieds. L’ouragan Crystal a quand même fait quelques dégâts. Le toit a été arraché », raconte-t-il.

    Même chose pour Bertha Naquin, qui nous reçoit dans sa maison perchée sur des piliers de 15 pieds. Après avoir vécu plusieurs années à Houma, elle a décidé de se réinstaller dans son coin de pays. « Ici, je suis chez moi », dit-elle.

    Si sa maison perchée est plus protégée des inondations, cela la rend toutefois plus vulnérable aux ouragans. « C’est sûr que, s’il y a un ouragan, je ne reste pas ici », dit-elle.

    Pour s’assurer de pouvoir partir avant que la route soit inondée, il faut constamment guetter les signes avant-coureurs des désastres. « Il faut regarder les marées et, si le vent vient du sud-est, il faut s’en aller », dit-elle.

    Le père Roch Naquin estime, de son côté, que les habitants de l’île devraient accepter l’offre du gouvernement de la Louisiane et saisir l’occasion de s’en aller. « Si tu ne pars pas, que quelque chose de terrible arrive, que ta maison est détruite, il sera trop tard. Moi, je suis prêt à partir, quand les nouvelles maisons seront construites », dit-il.

    #climat #réfugiés_climatiques #environnement #changement_climatique #usa

    • Les traces d’Iberville
      L’Isle de Jean-Charles doit son nom à Jean-Charles Naquin, colon français originaire de Saint-Malo, en France. Son fils, Jean-Marie Naquin, a épousé une Autochtone choctaw, Pauline Verdin, en 1824. Renié par sa famille en raison de ce mariage interracial, Jean-Marie trouve refuge sur l’île avec son épouse et lui donne le nom de son père qui y faisait des affaires, dit-on, avec le pirate français Jean Lafitte.

      « Ils faisaient de la contrebande autour du bayou de l’île. C’était un endroit caché, où ils ne pouvaient pas être vus », raconte le chef Albert Naquin, qui est son arrière-arrière-arrière-petit-fils. La légende veut d’ailleurs que Jean Lafitte ait laissé quelques trésors dans les environs.

      Mais c’est bien avant tout cela que les Autochtones choctaw, biloxi et chitimacha de Louisiane ont commencé à adopter le français, qu’ils parlent encore aujourd’hui, comme langue d’usage.

      En 1699, l’explorateur Pierre Lemoyne d’Iberville découvre l’embouchure du Mississippi par la mer et y fait construire trois forts français. Au cours de trois voyages consécutifs, il crée dans la région des liens solides avec les autochtones, renforcés par l’envoi de missionnaires et de coureurs des bois français. Au fil des générations, le français a peu à peu supplanté les langues autochtones comme langue d’usage dans les familles, même si aujourd’hui, la plupart des habitants de l’Isle de Jean-Charles ont appris l’anglais à l’école. Chris Brunet, dont la famille vit sur l’île depuis des générations, raconte que son arrière-grand-mère parlait encore le choctaw.

  • What is a ‘climate refugee’ and how many are there? | Grist

    There are pros and cons to calling those forced to move due to climate change “refugees.” On the one hand, it certainly communicates the urgency of the climate situation — ecosystems are changing so quickly and so unprecedentedly that many people don’t recognize the places they once called home. (And not in a “this neighborhood’s been taken over by yuppies!” way; in a, “wow, it’s too hot to breathe” way.) The word “refugee” fits the idea of millions of people being forced to leave their homes due to climate change, and that is certainly a convincing argument that we are facing a dire, global emergency.

    But then there’s the way that the word “refugee” is used to stir up xenophobia. In fact, all you have to do is turn on cable news to hear some politician or pundit avidly fearmongering about Salvadoran or Syrian or Sudanese refugees pounding at the borders of wealthier (read: whiter) nations. Instead of inspiring people to do something proactive about climate change, like vote, or roll your car into a ditch, the idea of so many people displaced by global warming can be weaponized into a rationale for border walls, military action, or other forms of protectionism.

    In other words, we’re at a very, very weird moment in the trajectory of climate change awareness. With many people already suffering from climate consequences and many, many more poised to join them, we must convince those in resource-chugging countries to take action without inflaming their, at times misinformed, sense of self-preservation. The scale of action that must be taken is both overwhelming and overdue, and it requires seeing ourselves as a global community. But it’s an incredibly complicated thing to do, and we must choose our words wisely, as pedantic as that can seem.

    Now to the numbers part of your question: The Institute for Economics and Peace, an Australian think tank, recently estimated that in 2017 alone, 18 million people — 61.5 percent of global displacements — were forced to move due to natural disasters. (Those natural disasters are not universally caused by climate change, but global warming is predicted to cause more frequent and intense disasters.) And while projections vary, sources agree that those numbers are going to get a whole lot higher. That same report noted that nearly 1 billion people currently live in areas of “very high” or “high” climate exposure, which could result in millions of people displaced by climate change in the future. A 2018 World Bank report estimated that by 2050, there would be 143 million climate change-driven migrants from the regions of Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and southeast Asia alone.

    But, if we’re talking about legally designated “climate refugees,” there’s a much different number being thrown around: zero.

    That’s because “refugee” has a specific legal definition with certain criteria that need to be met to be able to apply for asylum in a new country, including religious and/or social persecution. And most legal scholars and international lawyers will say that most people who move or are forced to move due to climate disasters are not technically refugees because most of those criteria don’t apply to them.

    #terminologie #réfugiés #climat #asile

  • 7 idées reçues sur les #migrations climatiques

    Chaque année, plusieurs millions de personnes sont contraintes de quitter leur lieu de vie à cause des dégradations environnementales ou des catastrophes naturelles. Ces déplacés climatiques sont de plus en plus nombreux, et pourtant on les connaît encore mal.


  • Why the Migrant Caravan Story Is a Climate Change Story

    Drought, crop failure, storms, and land disputes pit the rich against the poor, and Central America is ground zero for climate change.

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_environnementaux #Amériques #caravane #Mexique #Amérique_centrale #Amérique_latine #réfugiés_climatiques #climat #changement_climatique #Honduras

    Countries, like the U.S., that have emitted the most CO2 are fortifying their borders against people from countries who have emitted the least.