What we’re talking about regarding climate change refugees is total chaos, where natural disasters are more intense and more often. The world is giving us this warning of more horror to come.
We spoke about the Environmental Justice Foundation’s (EJF) ‘No place like home’ campaign in the blog on 13 February. Now I can tell you a bit more about it and show you the interview I did with EJF in support of the project.
Every year climate change contributes to the deaths of over 300,000 people, seriously affects a further 325 million people, and causes economic losses of US$125 billion. Four billion people are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and 500-600 million people – around 10% of the planet’s human population are at extreme risk. Climate change has been recognized as a fundamental threat to human rights. Developing countries stand to bear over nine-tenths of the climate change burden meaning 98% of the seriously affected people and 99% of all deaths from weather-related disasters, along with over 90% of the total economic losses.
Recent disasters show the potential scale of the problems resulting from climate-related events: 1.5 million homes were destroyed in Bangladesh by Cyclone Sidr in 2007; floods in Pakistan displaced around 1.8 million people, and damaged or destroyed up to 1.6 million homes and 6.8 million acres of crops in 2010; more than 950,000 Somali refugees were displaced to neighbouring countries between January 2011 and January 2012 as a result of the complex East Africa crisis. Experts estimate that there were more than 38 million people displaced by sudden onset, climate-related natural hazards in 2010. Climate refugees now outnumber refugees fleeing persecution and violence by more than three to one.
Unlike refugees recognized under the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, climate refugees have no legal status. There is no legislation, agency or institution specifically mandated for their protection and assistance. No existing framework or institutions in the domain of migration, displacement or climate change specifically address the issue of climate refugees, and no international institution has a clear mandate to serve these people who so need human rights protection and humanitarian assistance.
EJF’s ‘No Place Like Home’ campaign is working to get the voices of those most vulnerable to climate change heard internationally, with the goal of securing a legally-binding instrument for the recognition, assistance and protection of people who often have nowhere to go and no means to survive.
I have designed t-shirts to support EJF’s ‘No Place Like Home’ campaign. They have a 90% smaller carbon footprint than an average cotton t-shirt ; they are organic, ethically-made and manufactured by renewable green energy.
Read more about it in ‘The Stylist’ http://www.stylist.co.uk/fashion/vivienne-westwood-takes-on-climate-change#image-rotator-1