Lloyd Axworthy discusses the impacts of climate change on human mobility.

COP26, Climate Change and Migration

World Refugee & Migration Council members followed the discussions at the 2021 Glasgow United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) closely. In particular, they were looking to see how conversations and commitments could lead to future efforts toward climate change adaption and a recognition that migration can be part of those efforts. Here’s what they said. Our full playlist is available here.

WRMC Chair Lloyd Axworthy noted that the COP26 meetings in Glasgow should be the launching pad, not only have more adaptation and mitigation, but also a more basic salvation and protection for people who are going to be directly affected by the impact of a changing climate.

WRMC member Susan Martin stressed the need for international cooperation and concrete actions following COP26 to address climate change and the migration and displacement that may result.

WRMC Member Devota Nuwe called for leaders at COP26 to meet the $100 billion per year financing commitment to address climate change. She says that these funds are vital for mitigation and adaptation especially in countries like Uganda hosting large numbers of refugees who put pressure on forests and natural areas as their only source for fuel and food.

WRMC President Fen Hampson said leaders at COP26 must look at adaptation strategies and not just prevention, because climate change and the problems that we are seeing today won’t disappear anytime soon. “By the time people show up at a country’s borders it’s already too late,” Hampson said. We need to tackle the root causes of the problem, which include failed states, endemic corruption, armed conflict, violence and now climate change, which, to some degree is exacerbating all of these problems.”