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Climate change is happening now. It is destroying livelihoods, infrastructure and communities, forcing people from their homes, towns and even countries around the world.

The planet’s poorest and most vulnerable are suffering the worst effects, despite having contributed the least to its cause. However, even developed countries have not and will not escape its devastating impacts.

In an extraordinary photography exhibition, the Environmental Justice Foundation shows us the people for whom climate change is no longer an abstract concept, but a daily reality. Their portraits tell the stories of people living at the frontlines of climate change.

A changing climate is shaping people’s lives and livelihoods. In the past 10 years, weather-related hazards displace an average of 21.7 million people each year: the equivalent of 41 people every single minute. This number does not include those forced to flee their homes as a consequence of slow-onset environmental degradation, such as droughts or sea level rise.

Climate change is both an environmental and a human rights issue. It is a primary threat to our natural environment, but also world peace, security, development and human rights in the 21st century, and can not be ignored.

There is currently no international framework or legal agreement that helps guarantee the rights of people displaced by climate-induced events. With 2018 being the defining year in which both the Rulebook for the Paris Agreement is being shaped, as well as the Global Compact for Migration and the Global Compact for Refugees are formed, now is the time to recognise and protect climate refugees worldwide.

World leaders now have the opportunity to show real leadership, by investing heavily in climate mitigation and creating an international, binding agreement on legal recognition and protection for climate refugees.

 

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) is helping to give these vulnerable communities a voice and to secure international protection for climate refugees. Help them to tell world leaders to stand up for climate refugees.

All pictures were provided by EJF and are Copyrighted Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF).

Arthur Wyns

About Arthur Wyns

Arthur Wyns is a tropical biologist and science journalist who writes about climate change, environment and migration. He manages Programs and Partnerships for Climate Tracker since 2017.