Right now, world leaders in Paris are trying to stop climate change from altering the world inexorably. But for hundreds of thousands of people who live in some low-lying nations, it’s already late in the game.
While climate change for most of us is an abstract concept, the people who live in these low-lying countries are already being forced from their homes. They’re often called environmental migrants, or climate refugees–new terms to describe the millions who will have no choice but to relocate over the next few decades.
In fact, there are whole organizations devoted to relocation, like TransRe, or Displacement Solutions, a UN partner group that helps climate change refugees find new homes, which it calls “one of the largest human rights challenges of the modern era.” All of this is complicated by the fact that climate refugees don’t have the same protection that, say, political refugees do under international law (as the ambassador from the Maldives discussed in a COP21 interview this week).
So where are the vanguards of this “new normal” reality ending up? Where are people migrating, in an unstable geopolitical climate that’s already proven hostile to another refugee crisis?
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