Humans have a huge influence on the increase of the temperatures by the production of greenhouse gases which traps heat in the earth’s atmosphere. Some examples of human causes are: deforestation, use of fertilisers and burning fossil fuels. Such activities imbalance the incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared radiation and may increase or decrease the earth’s temperature.
With the earth’s average temperature rising, disasters such as storms and floods are becoming more frequent. Some people in various parts of the world have been already been affected and are forced to leave their homes due to the effects of climate change making them climate refugees. The International Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) found that approximately 19.3 million people had to leave their homes due to disasters in 100 countries in 2014. The Sumatra earthquake in Indonesia displaced approximately 9,100 people while the Mount Sinabung eruption in Indonesia displaced about 3,500 people. These statistics suggest that climate change can have an impact on anyone and at any time leading to homelessness, unemployment, injuries and so forth.
Unfortunately, the term ‘climate refugees’ is still not recognised legally which means that international laws do not protect them. It is also hard to figure out why people have left their homes; it may be because of lack of work, political voice or environmental disasters.
One way to tackle the emission of greenhouse gases is to stop burning fossil fuels. Burning oil, coal and gas releases carbon dioxide making the earth warmer. They also release other substances that can be harmful to humans, animals and the environment.
Another solution is to start using renewable resources of energy. They can be generated naturally through wind, sun and water. Unlike fossil fuels, such resources are renewable and will never run out. Some examples of ways on how they can be used are through: solar panels, wind turbines and hydro systems. Renewable energy has low or no carbon and greenhouse gas emission, making it eco-friendly. Using it then means there will be less air pollution and may stop the earth from getting hotter.
Legislation and policies are needed. They must be created and implemented to recognise climate refugees. Their stories and situations are a reality and need more attention from policy makers and governments.