On December 3rd the non-governmental organization Oxfam warned on December 2nd that the disaster caused by a climate emergency had become the number one cause of displacement in the global region over the past decade, forcing more than 20 million people to leave their homes each year.
Oxfam released a “report on displaced persons” on the occasion of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Madrid, EFE reported on December 2. The United Nations Climate Change Conference opened in Madrid on December 2nd and will discuss financial support for groups affected by the climate crisis, including displaced persons, from 2 to 13 December.
Oxfam’s document warns that “people are now three times more likely to be forced from their homes by hurricanes, floods or forest fires than by armed conflict, and seven times more likely to be forced to leave their homes because of an earthquake or volcanic eruption”.
After analysing data from 2008 to 2018, the NGO noted that Spain is the third-highest risk of displacement among its citizens, after the Czech Republic and Greece.
Oxfam says it is people in poor countries who are most vulnerable to climate disasters. While these countries contribute the least to carbon dioxide pollution, they are most at risk.
According to the organization, the impact of the climate crisis on the world is uneven. People in low-income countries such as India, Nigeria and Bolivia are four times more at risk of being displaced by climate disasters than those living in rich countries such as the United States.
In addition, seven of the ten countries most at risk of intra-regional displacement due to extreme weather events are developing island States.
“Between 2008 and 2018, an average of about 5 per cent of the population of Cuba, Dominica and Tuvalu were forced to leave their homes each year due to extreme weather conditions,” oxfam’s report said. “In these countries, per capita CO2 emissions are only “one third of the per capita emissions of high-income countries”.
Jose Maria Bella, acting executive director of Oxfam International, said the “poorest people in the poorest countries paid the highest price”.