The consequences of global warming generate significant migratory movements: as revealed in the latest Global Report on Internal Displacement [PDF] External link, opens in new window. (2017), natural disasters force the internal displacement of three times more people than those who are displaced through political conflicts.
Droughts and the advance of desertification — as well as the lack of harvests, torrential rains, alterations in seasons, and extreme temperatures — are only some of the reasons triggering this type of migrations.
Although the consequences of climate change affect many regions, there are five areas especially affected in which displacements are counted by millions:
- The Amazon Basin (1): The progressive melting of glaciers causes a significant decrease in water reserves in the Andean plain, a region already affected by significant water shortage.
- Lake Chad (2): Since 1963 the surface area of one of the largest lakes on the planet has been reduced by more than 90% due to climate change and the demographic pressures of recent decades.
- Syria (3): The severe drought of 2007 — which lasted for three years — wiped out most of the crops and livestock.
- China (4): The country's deserts have increased by more than 50,000 km2 since 1975, reducing crop acreage. With 7,434,000 climate refugees, this country ranks highest on the number of displaced persons associated with natural disasters in 2016.
- The Philippines (5): The climate in this country is unpredictable and is one of the regions in the world most affected by typhoons. Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons in history, razed the archipelago in 2013 with winds of up to 378 km/h.
The only solution to reducing the consequences of climate change lies in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, a need reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (Goal 13: Climate Action) and highlighted in the latest Climate Summits. The commitment to clean and renewable energies is key to achieving the decarbonisation of the economy and to coping with the great environmental challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.