First steps on migration and climate change. Listen to our 20-minute intro podcast Given the focus on Europe and beyond on the refugee issue, one would have expected that the COP21 meetings and their media coverage would focus more on climate change-related travel. The numbers are alarming, but not immediately, and that may be where myopia resides. Since 2008, an average of 26.4 million people have fled their homes due to environmental disasters, according to the Centre for Internal Displacement Monitoring (IDMC). Over the same period, the average number of displaced persons averages 6.2 million annually. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is planning even greater displacement in the coming years due to climate change. The IDMC estimates that the probability of displacement due to climate disasters is now 60% higher than forty years ago. Before considering a solution, it is interesting to note that migrants are in a state of legal suspension under current refugee law. For traditional conflict refugees, the 1951 Convention provides protected legal status. But, as it is currently written, Article I of the 1951 Convention refers only to persons fleeing persecution by their own government on the basis of “race, religion, nationality or belonging to a certain social group or political opinion.” In normal cases, people fleeing climate change will not fit this definition. The outcome of the Paris negotiations is the creation of a task force to “develop recommendations for integrated approaches to avoid, minimize and combat population displacement in the context of the negative effects of climate change.” Recent history has shown cross-border movements in situations where conflict or violence is linked to disasters or the negative effects of climate change. Nevertheless, research on how the affected states have used refugee law to provide international protection in these complex situations has traditionally been limited.
To address this lack of knowledge and to find political and practical solutions to strengthen the implementation of international refugee protection when cross-border movements take place in the context of the nexus dynamic, UNHCR conducted the study in 2018: In Harm`s Way: International Protection in context of nexus dynamics between conflict or violence or violence and disaster or climate change. In 2018, during the implementation of the TFD work plan, UNHCR commissioned a mapping of existing international and regional guidelines and instruments to prevent, minimize, combat and facilitate sustainable solutions for forced displacement linked to the negative effects of climate change, and helped develop recommendations for integrated approaches to preventing , minimize and combat forced displacement linked to the negative effects of climate change. , presented to COP24 and approved by the parties.