Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, causing extreme weather events, threat to human health, communities, economy, and national security. It has been predicted that climate change will force millions of people to flee their homes over the coming century. This is due to gradual environmental deterioration such as rising sea level, desertification and drought, flooding and hurricanes.
The International Organisation for Migration indicated 200 million people from approximately 7.4 billion in the world could be displaced by 2050 due to climate impact. This displacement could be within one’s own country or seeking refuge in another country. In 2014, 19 million people from over 100 countries were forced to flee their homes for reasons linked to climate change, indicating one person is displaced by climate change every second.
Unfortunately, the rights of these people within our societies have been undermined. People seeking refuge due to climate change currently have no support under existing legislation, such as the 1951 Geneva Convention to protect those fleeing war and persecution.