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Commonwealth meeting must push for action on climate change and protection of climate refugees
Apr 18, 2018

Commonwealth meeting must push for action on climate change and protection of climate refugees

By EJF Staff

The meeting of leaders of Commonwealth countries this week is an opportunity for world leaders to show their commitment to ensuring the world’s most vulnerable communities are protected from the effects of climate change.

The Heads of Governments meeting, which is being held in London, is looking to set the way for a cooperative future. The ambition for the week’s meetings includes 4 key aims:

  • A more sustainable future
  • A fairer future
  • A more secure future
  • A more prosperous future

To be able to reach these goals it is essential that climate change is acknowledged and addressed as a barrier to a secure future for all peoples. Commonwealth leaders have a chance to demonstrate their commitment to addressing climate change and protecting people around the world whose livelihoods and well-being are already at risk.

Climate change is a human rights issue just as it is an environmental one and it is vital that this is reflected in the discussions this week. As global temperatures continue to hit levels not seen since records began, extreme weather events increasingly cause major disruption and the rising cost of inaction leaves the most vulnerable people on our planet worst affected.

In 2016, extreme weather and climate events displaced nearly 45 people every minute. All too often it is the poorest, marginalised and vulnerable people - like those EJF recently documented in coastal Bangladesh - who have contributed least to climate change, who are affected first and worst.

The coming together of the Heads of the Commonwealth is an opportunity to put the recognition and protection of climate refugees on the global agenda and push for action at the global level.    

EJF is calling on the international community to develop a new legal definition for climate refugees and a global, legally-binding agreement to ensure their protection and rights.

By working together, world leaders can develop a system that protects climate refugees.

EJF’s climate campaign

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