Is climate change causing increased numbers of refugees?
Although the total number of refugees has more than doubled in the last decade, almost none of these people are fleeing due to climate change.
What is a climate refugee?
A climate refugee is a person forced to leave their home or country due to the impact of climate change, such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events, droughts, or desertification. These individuals are displaced because their livelihoods, homes, or lives are at risk due to the changing climate conditions. Climate refugees seek refuge or migrate to safer areas in order to secure their survival and well-being.
While the IPCC acknowledges that climate change can lead to human migration and displacement, the term "climate refugee" is not officially recognized or defined by the IPCC. Instead, the IPCC uses the term "environmental migration" to describe the movement of people due to environmental factors, including climate change.
The IPCC's reports highlight that climate change can exacerbate existing drivers of migration, such as poverty, political instability, and resource scarcity. They emphasize that climate change impacts can influence migration patterns and increase the number of people who are displaced. However, it is essential to note that the IPCC does not provide specific figures or predictions on the number of climate refugees or the exact extent of future displacement.
Climate refugees as pawns for pushing climate alarmism…
There have been numerous predictions and estimates regarding the potential number of climate refugees in the future, however, when we look at the data we see that all were gross over-exaggerations to drive the climate alarmist narrative. Additionally, the term "climate refugee" lacks a universally agreed-upon definition, further complicating precise estimations. Here are some recent predictions:
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) estimated in 2020 that by the year 2050, around 200 million people could be displaced due to the impacts of climate change, including both sudden-onset disasters and slow-onset events.
The World Bank has predicted that by 2050, there could be 143 million climate migrants within three regions: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.
A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in 2020 suggested that under a high emissions scenario, by 2100, as many as 1 billion people could be displaced globally due to climate change, including both internal and international migrants.
At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2011, University of California, Los Angeles professor Cristina Tirado said "In 2020, the UN has projected that we will have 50 million environmental refugees.”
Climate activist and former Vice President Al Gore recently went on an "unhinged" rant on the dangers of climate change at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
It is essential to approach these numbers with caution, as migration patterns are influenced by various factors and can be influenced by policy measures, adaptation strategies, and socioeconomic conditions. So let’s look at the actual data of refugees and the reasons behind their migration.
What does the UNHCR data say about refugees in 2022…
The UNHCR, or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, is a UN agency tasked with protecting and supporting refugees, advocating for their rights and well-being. They provide legal assistance, promote access to essential services, and address issues such as gender-based violence and child protection. The UNHCR delivers humanitarian aid, including shelter, food, healthcare, and education, working with governments, NGOs, and partners. They seek durable solutions for refugees, including voluntary repatriation, local integration, or resettlement. The UNHCR advocates for refugee rights, raises awareness, and coordinates efforts with stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive response to displacement challenges. The UNHCR also provides a “Global Trends Report” last published in June of 2022 to look at the statistics of refugees. According to the report…
At the end of 2021, the total number of people worldwide who were forced to flee their homes due to conflicts, violence, fear of persecution and human rights violations was 89.3 million. This is more than double the 42.7 million people who remained forcibly displaced a decade ago and the most since World War II.
So let’s look at some of the reasons for this increase in refugees. In fact, the reasons given by the UNHCR for this increase include:
Human rights violations.
Events disrupting public order.
Are there certain regions that are dominating the increase in refugees? The UNHCR report also states…
Ongoing and newly developed conflicts have driven the displacement across the globe.
For example, the conflict in the Tigray region in Ethiopia led to at least 2.5 million more people being displaced within their country, with some 1.5 million of them returning to their homes during the year.
In Afghanistan, the events leading up to the Taliban's takeover of Kabul in August 2021 resulted in displacement within the country as well as into neighbouring countries. The number of people displaced internally rose for the 15th straight year, even as more than 790,000 Afghans returned during the year.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen saw increases of between 100,000 and 500,000 people displaced internally in 2021.
Interestingly this means that the majority (approximately 69%) originate from just five counties: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar. In fact, a recent study published in the journal Nature titled, “Climatic conditions are weak predictors of asylum migration”, states…
Recent research suggests that climate variability and change significantly affect forced migration, within and across borders. Yet, migration is also informed by a range of non-climatic factors, and current assessments are impeded by a poor understanding of the relative importance of these determinants. Here, we evaluate the eligibility of climatic conditions relative to economic, political, and contextual factors for predicting bilateral asylum migration to the European Union—a form of forced migration that has been causally linked to climate variability. Results from a machine-learning prediction framework reveal that drought and temperature anomalies are weak predictors of asylum migration, challenging simplistic notions of climate-driven refugee flows. Instead, core contextual characteristics shape latent migration potential whereas political violence and repression are the most powerful predictors of time-varying migration flows.
Climate refugees are just another in a long line of over-exaggerated climate change predictions used to push the climate alarmist narrative that is not supported by the data. The fact is that considerations about the climate are at the bottom of the list of reasons why people become refugees and the use of these poor people as pawns to push the climate narrative is reprehensible and immoral.