Climate-displaced will number billions in 2050

EFE.- The internally displaced persons caused by the climate change in vulnerable countries, currently numbered between 20 and 30 million people, could reach figures of billions in the year 2050.

Experts consulted by Efe have stated that in this situation, caused by temporary, droughts o la infood security, have a high degree of impact on the current economic and development model, to which must be added the crisis of the pandemic.

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The associate director of Just Transition and Global Alliances of the Spanish NGO Ecodes, Mario Rodríguez, has assured that the impact of climate change currently causes more than 20 million internally displaced, according to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

For his part, the director of advocacy for Help in Action, Alberto Casado, explains that in 2020 a report from the internal displacement office of this international organization spoke of 30 million 700 thousand people they had to be displaced internally by weather-related disasters, which are intensifying with the weather.

The impact of climate changeAccording to Mario Rodríguez, it is higher for the most vulnerable for various reasons; in the first place because they are populations that do not have sufficient resourcess to choose the energy they consume, so they cannot help mitigate the climate crisis.

In addition, it affects their feeding, as the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which indicates that the areas most affected by droughts, hurricanes or floods are also those that suffer the most from food insecurity, such as in the Sahel and all of Africa, Southeast Asia or the Middle East.

The person in charge of Ecodes He also recalled that the entire conflict of the war in Siria was caused by a drought that led to a social outbreak.

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But climate change also affects the housing factor: “They are usually populations with slums” that have little resistance to floods or heat waves and its resources are scarce to live but also to adapt to climate change, as in the Sahel, some areas of Latin America or in the Himalaya with the melting of its glaciers.

They are populations “highly affected by climate change” and they have no resources to mitigate or adapt to its effects, “a devastating combination,” asserted Rodríguez, who explained that the climate refugee concept It is not legally recognized by the United Nations.

“Only in Africa, there is more of 20 million climate displaced persons per year. Lack of resources can lead to conflict and the migration of thousands of people fleeing Syria, the Sahel, Sudan or Somalia ”.

He adds that if there is no change or the impact of climate change is reduced, according to projections, that number of climate migrants “could multiply by hundreds and billions by 2050 ″ and highlights that millions of people in the Middle East without shelter or food or from the Sahel will seek refuge in Europe.

This phenomenon is being seen in other areas such as Central or South America that are migrating north to the United States, such as those affected by droughts in the Dry Corridor of Central America or areas of South America affected by other climatic phenomena.

The problem “is not valued in all its dimensions”, assured Rodríguez, and affirmed that according to forecasts of the NGO Ayuda en Acción it is calculated in 1 billion climate displaced by 2050 in extreme weather scenarios.

“It can be a major geopolitical crisis and in spaces like Europe, with a series of values ​​and principles where conflicts can be generated ”, especially in the countries of entry of the southern border. This is going to increase progressively and we will see it at the end of this decade, without waiting for 2050 ″.

There are a series of measures that have been adopted to counteract this situation, ranging from global ones to those carried out by NGOs, says the Ecodes member, among the first is the creation of the Green Fund in 2009 in Copenhagen, to which developed countries pledged to contribute 100 billion dollars annually for climate mitigation and adaptation of the least developed.

But “in the last 15 years, only 20 billion dollars, when the commitment was 100 billion annually from 2020. These funds were additional, that is, they were not taken from aid for cooperation, the famous 0.7% ”.

“The lack of transparency has not allowed us to know if this money comes from the aid funds for cooperation,” according to Rodríguez, despite the fact that in 2018 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development spoke of 70 billions without specifying the origin of those funds.

The “only reliable fund is the United Nations, which speaks of 20 billion euros,” he said.

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In this sense, NGOs play an “undeniable and very important role in countries affected by climate crises, now it will be necessary to see if Northern countries affected by climate change they do not subtract money from the Green Fund to apply it in their own countries ”.

The two experts they are not too optimistic about the results of the next Climate Summit (COP26) of Glasgow (United Kingdom), however they expect the expediting of funds and commitments for the mitigation and adaptation to climate change of the most vulnerable populations, even more so when the planet’s temperature continues to rise, according to the United Nations.