Climate change: responsibility and vulnerability

Climate change is our problem; we have the obligation to solve it. It is our duty to climate-changetake care of our own generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. I care about climate change because I care about our generation and future generations, I care about the best quality of life for the future, I care about the human race.

Climate change is not contributing to a better place for human beings to live in. It is a global problem, it is a social problem, it is a poverty problem, it is a hunger problem, it is a health problem, it is an equality problem, but more then everything it is a commitment problem.

The biggest problem about getting people to care about climate change is the fact that is is such a subtle, complex and slippery and a far to big of issue for people to make sense out of it. In order to fight climate change, everyone should start caring. Everyone should find an aspect that is close to their hearts, this will make it more tangible. The issue most closely to my heart and why I care about climate change, is that it carries a fundamental gap between responsibility and vulnerability.

Unfortunately, the people least responsible for climate change are in general the most vulnerable to it. We see an increase in extreme weather patterns that result in problems for the most vulnerable people in the world. UNHCR claims that since 2009 22.5 million people have been displaced due to climate change. Displacement linked to climate change is not just a problem for the future, it is happening now. As a result, these climate refugees still do not meet the refugee definition:

“A refugee is someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”[1]

Consequently, climate refugees are not well protected by international laws and agreements. Moreover, the international trend of fearing immigrants and refugees, fed by politicians such as Trump, Mary Le Pen and Geert Wilders, does not contribute to a stable international environment for these vulnerable displaced people.

 

There is an essential need for a more tolerant international tendency towards displaced people. It is an inevitable reality in a changing world where climate change is happening, that the numbers of displaced people will only increase. Moreover, the huge gap between responsibility and vulnerability should be addressed. No region is immune to climate change, but the risks of displacement are mostly for vulnerable countries with high exposure to climate change. Countries such as Somalia and Bangladesh.

We should care about climate change because it is affecting the world of our generation, but even more the world of tomorrows’ generation.

[1] http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10


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