Photo: © UNHCR

We ask governments to urgently promote measures to combat climate change and prevent the increase in forced displacement and vulnerabilities of those already forced to flee, in accordance with the requests of the UN Secretary General.

The human cost of inaction is too great. We cannot afford to wait.

For 70 years, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has been on the frontline of conflict, protecting people forced to flee their homes. Now this has also become the frontline of climate change. UNHCR is on the ground protecting families and helping to support, prevent, prepare, and build resilience in the face of this emergency. But we all need to step up our efforts.  

Almost all of the world’s refugees and internally displaced people come from countries that are the most vulnerable and least ready to adapt to climate change. The added strain of climate change limits the possibilities of return and can exacerbate tensions among communities over already limited resources – putting peaceful coexistence at stake.

The climate crisis repercussions can often be silent, but they are nonetheless devastating.

In 2019, a staggering 1,900 weather-related disasters caused unimaginable suffering for 25 million people in 140 countries and territories. This figure is the highest since 2012 (IDMC).

For people already displaced by conflict and violence, climate change is an emergency on top of an emergency.

We are already seeing more frequent and intense disasters, wildfires, flooding, droughts. These disasters are disrupting food security, displacing families, destroying livelihoods and fuelling conflict.

According to the latest research, without dramatic action to mitigate climate change and significantly reduce the risk of climate disasters, by 2050, 200 million people will be in need of humanitarian assistance annually due to the effects of climate change. 

We know the climate emergency demands collective action. The effects will have catastrophic consequences for millions of people around the world.

The human cost of inaction is too great. We cannot afford to wait.

  • Yes, make my voice count at the COP26 Climate Summit! I stand with refugees and call on governments to combat climate change to prevent increased displacement for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
  • Tick below if you’d like to hear more about this petition, as well as the latest news on refugee issues and how you can support our work.

Signatures will be presented by UNHCR Special Advisor on Climate Action Andrew Harper on behalf of refugee supporters around the world at COP26 (World Climate Summit) on 1st November, 2021.

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