17 October 2018
On average 26 million people are forced to leave their homes each year due to climate related disasters such as floods and storms. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable in these contexts – often exposed to violence, exploitation and human trafficking.
Today Jean Lambert MEP co-hosted an event in the European Parliament to explore this issue further and call for meaningful action at UN level.
Speakers included former Irish President and leading climate justice campaigner Mary Robinson, representatives of UNHCR and UNFCC, and environmental journalist Fiona Harvey.
Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP and the Green Party’s migration spokesperson, said:
“It’s time to stop thinking of climate change as something that will happen in future. Climate change is here, and it’s happening now.
Some 26 million people are forced to flee their homes every year, increasingly linked to humanity’s destructive actions. Within the next thirty years, this is expected to rise exponentially with 200 million people being displaced from their homes annually. While the devastating impacts of climate change will touch all of our lives – regardless of race, ethnicity, age or gender – the sad truth is that women and girls are acutely vulnerable once displaced.
We can’t simply ignore this issue and hope it goes away. It won’t. Instead the international community needs to face up to reality, heed the warnings outlined in the IPCC’s recent report, and push world leaders to act immediately to prevent more climate catastrophes in the very near future.
This must involve developing a comprehensive global strategy to address climate displacement, with specific provisions for the protection of vulnerable groups, including women and girls.”