UN Climate Change News, 6 December 2018 – A key set of recommendations that aim to help countries cope with the displacement of people as a result of climate change impacts such as prolonged droughts will be discussed at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland.
The recommendations by the Task Force on Displacement will be presented just two days before countries meet to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in Marrakech, Morocco on 10-11 December. This will be the first-ever UN global agreement on a common approach to international migration.
Today, over 258 million migrants live outside their country of origin across the world and climate change is expected to increase this number. Climate impacts that affect large movements of people include increasingly long heatwaves, droughts or sea-level rise that make land uninhabitable.
Patricia Espinosa, the UN’s Climate Chief said, “The effects of climate change impacts in one part of the world are not just felt there. That impact ripples outward and is felt continents away. We are all connected.”
The international community must soon decide whether and how it will consider climate impacts on human mobility. The answer to these questions will in turn affect whether and how large-scale movements of people can be averted, minimized, and managed as climate change unfolds this century.
The recommendations focus on integrated approaches to avert, minimize and address the displacement related to the adverse effects of climate change.
They have been developed by the displacement task force, which is part of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism on loss and damage under the UNFCCC.
The key is to plan, consult and coordinate
Addressed to countries, the international climate policy process, and the UN system, they recommend to planning, consultation and coordination.
Plan. First, the Task Force recommendations invite countries to formulate national laws and strategies that strengthen preparedness, planning, and contingency measures to find safe solutions for displacement.
Consult. Second, the Task Force recommendations invite the UNFCCC process to facilitate climate change related risk assessments and improved standards for data collection and analysis of internal and cross border human mobility.
Coordinate. Third, the recommendations on displacement invite United Nations Agencies and stakeholders to strengthen cooperation among countries. This could include measures to understand risk, access a range of support, provide assistance and protection of affected communities within existing national laws and international frameworks. UN Agencies are invited to engage with international climate policy bodies like the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism, and help countries address the challenges and opportunities of human mobility related to climate change. The Task Force recommendations further invite the UN Secretary General to address human mobility throughout the UN system and in the work of the future high-level panel on internally displaced persons.
About the Task Force on Displacement and its Work
The Task Force examined policy and practice at the subnational, national, regional, and international levels. The work identified what is already in place, and what policies and institutional frameworks might be needed in the future to avert, minimize, and address displacement with climate change.
The Task Force enhances the capacity of governments and regional and international organizations to address climate-related drivers and impacts of displacement. In addition, the work of the Task Force aims to foster policy coherence by encouraging the work plans of other committees under the UNFCCC to consider displacement.
These committees include the Adaptation Committee, Least Developed Country Expert Group, Standing Committee on Finance, Paris Committee on Capacity Building, Climate Technology Centre and Network, Technology Executive Committee, and the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change.
The Task Force aims to strengthen systematic data collection and monitoring of displacement-related impacts to feed into comprehensive needs and risk assessments for planning. Finally, the Task Force works towards cultivating an actionable and constructive commitment to approaches and enhanced cooperation.