Is Europe facing migration from south to north?

The climate is changing, and during the next 50 years Europe might face massmigrationg because of a unbearable living conditions.

The rise of the sea level, desertification, melting of Earth´s ice cover, lack of food supply and extreme weather conditions are the consequencies for the climate change.

Because of the hard living conditions the people of north Africa and south Europe might become climate refugees although this term needs to be clarified.
”International law does not define or recognise ”a climate refugee”. Lack of a commonly accepted definition further complicates estimating migration flows. Negotiations are currently ongoing within the United Nations to find a common definition”, says Finnish green party polititian and member of parliament Oras Tynkkynen.

There are several ways to approach the Europes possible climate refugee issue, but at the moment there is a concencus that the Mediterranean area becomes too hot and dry place to live for the population of the modern day. Although it is hard to count the total number of possible refugees world wide, the Mediterranean figure would be as much as 150 million people. And because the Africa is impossible direction to migrate then the refugees would travel to northern Europe, also to Finland.
”Home and its surroundings are important to everyone. If the living conditions would become unbearable I would rather think that instead of moving for example to Finland, the possible refugees would stay as close as their home as possible”, tells Paula Lehtomäki, the minister of the environment. Her opinion is shared by Oras Tynkkynen.
”The biggest migration flows appear within countries and between neighbouring developing countries. According the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), only 0,03 percent of global refugees were seeking asylym in Finland in 2008. It is unlikely that this big picture will change radically.”
According to Mr. Tynkkynen the best policies against forced migration related to climate change are effective mitigation and adaptation strategies.
”Limiting global warming to a maximum of two centigrade will greatly decrease the likelyhood of the most disastrous effects of climate change”, he reasons. Two centigrade would be bearable, but three degrees would place the Earth to entirely different position.

Talk is cheap when considered what to do to prevent the people all over the world to turn to climate refugees.
”Every year the world is using 50 percent too much of the Earths natural recources, and even within the European Union we haven´t been able to secure the natures biodiversity”, defines Paula Lehtomäki.

The Copenhagen Climate Summit is on, and there are several decisions to make in order to keep the Earth is clean as possible. First there needs to be an understanding among the nations of the world that the greenhouse effect must turn down by reducing the release of the greenhouse gases. Secondly the industrial world is in a position to help the undeveloped countries to adjusts to the climate change. And thirdly because the climate refugees are already knocking in our landareas, there needs to be an official statement about the issue of how to define refugee. Within the next 50 years millions of europeans might move from south to north and for that we need to be ready. But as a consumers, even today, we can still make the difference and change the Earth.

Eliisa Anttila, Janne Pantsu, Jari Hemmilä


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