Are asylum seekers the key to a climate agreement? This thought has struck me over the last few days as the horrendous news from Calais and the Mediterranean has unfolded (and the UK with someone falling out an aircraft). As NGO’s and others consider their stance for Paris in December should this be their main line of argument?
There is little doubt we have a problem both with people driven by conflict and economic reasons trying to get into the developed world (mostly the UK and US). There is also little doubt that governments really don’t have clue what to do about it. As I blogged about previously there are already a very large number of climate refugees already. There is little doubt that climate change will make the problem of asylum seekers and refugees far worse. There are not only the problems of rising sea levels and environmental degradation but also increased likelihood of conflict and economic dislocation. Certainly that well known liberal environmental organisation the US military thinks so. The only problem is we cannot say for certain how bad the problem is going to be. It seems likely though the problem of asylum seekers and refugees is going to get far worse and is one reason alone to seal the climate deal. At times like this I am reminded of two things. Walls don’t work and Jesus was a refugee (Matthew 2v13-15).