The International Organization for Migration warned on Friday the world must prepare for a mass increase in climate-linked migration as leaders battled to save a deal on global warming in Copenhagen.
“Climate change and environmental degradation are already triggering migration or displacement all over the planet,” the IOM warned on the critical last day of the Denmark summit, which coincides with International Migrants Day.
Right now, “it is the world’s poorest countries that are bearing the brunt” of the migration, said the Geneva-based body, calling for leaders to make “greater efforts, beyond Copenhagen,” to tackle the complex issue.
IOM director general William Lacy Swing said experts still struggle to measure the number of people worldwide who choose to leave or are driven from their homes because of climate change and environmental degradation.
But he said the IOM has established beyond doubt that environmental migration “is a growing trend” and that “climate change, demographic trends and globalization all point to more migration in the future.”
The IOM pointed at several Asian countries already struggling to cope with mass migration from rural areas to cities, as farmers’ livelihoods are destroyed by recurrent floods.
In many cases, it argued, migration is a valuable “coping mechanism” for populations struggling with environmental degradation, such as in Mali where thousands have left drought-stricken areas in recent years.
But developing nations will need help to cope with large-scale environmental migration, it said, urging the rich world to unblock financial aid, over and above existing development assistance.
And climate-linked emigration from hotspots in Asia, Africa, Central and Latin America will also pose a major challenge to the developed world, the IOM said, warning policy-makers have yet to grasp the scale of the issue.
Swing said the world had a duty to “manage migration in a way that increases the benefits and opportunities and reduces suffering.”
“The effects of climate change will be an increasingly important variable in this equation. We need to think ahead and plan for change. We need to be prepared to respond to the humanitarian challenges that climate change is already posing today.”
Black Lives Matter movement gains momentum worldwide with fresh weekend of protests
From Sydney to London, Paris to Washington, D.C., protesters have launched a global weekend of action to support Black Lives Matter, in many cases defying bans on public gatherings.
Taking a knee, chanting and ignoring social-distancing measures, outraged protesters kicked off a weekend of global rallies Saturday against racism and police brutality.
The death during the arrest of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in the US state of Minnesota, has brought tens of thousands out onto the streets during a pandemic that is ebbing in Asia and Europe, but spreading in other parts of the world.
Philly police threaten to call in sick during protests after officer charged with assault: report
Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna has been charged with assault after a video circulated of him beating Evan Gorski, a Temple University student, during a protest. But according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, his fellow officers on the force are outraged — and may stage a "sickout" in protest.
"John McNesby, head of the city’s police union, came to Bologna’s defense, calling him one of the city’s 'most decorated and respected police leaders' who had to make a split-second call in a chaotic situation," reported William Bender and Jeremy Roebuck. "By Friday evening, talk was circulating about a 'blue flu,' or organized move by officers to call in sick in solidarity with Bologna, as another round of demonstrations, with crowds anticipated in the thousands, was set to take place Saturday in central Philadelphia."
‘These unions dishonor the labor movement’: Nearly 200 academics, lawmakers, and activists demand AFL-CIO expel police unions
"The AFL-CIO cannot stand for criminal justice reform, while at the same time allowing police unions to use your power to impede reform."
A coalition of nearly 200 civil rights activists, academics, and state and city lawmakers is calling on the AFL-CIO—the largest federation of unions in the United States—to permanently expel police unions from its ranks, arguing that organized labor's "proud history" of fighting for the most vulnerable "is being destroyed by the legacy that police unions are leaving behind."