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Climate Change


EU leaders told to prepare for migration surge

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Nelson Alcantara  Mar 13, 2008

The rest of the world could not insulate itself from the impacts of climate change, as food and water supplies will be strained, provoking natural disasters and undermines political stability in poorer countries, a new report prepared for the European Union heads of government has revealed.

The consequence? Europe will have to prepare for big flows of migration by 2020, EU leaders are being told. According to the report, so serious are the threats that the multilateral system of global governance could be at risk if the international community failed to address them.

Citing the EU document, the International Herald Tribune reports that because of Europe’s close proximity to North Africa and the Middle East, both of which are vulnerable to the pressures caused by climate change, “migratory pressure at the EU’s borders and political instability and conflict could increase.”

To be presented today by the EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana, the document warning EU leaders they should prepare for a surge in migration lists what has been termed as a series of phenomena. The report predicts that in North and sub-Sahara, drought and overfarming could lead to a loss of 75 percent of arable land; rising sea levels and salinization, which occurs in warm and dry locations where soluble salts precipitate from water and accumulate in the soil, of agricultural lands could threaten the Nile Delta; and the Horn of Africa and southern Africa could see less rain and experience higher temperatures.

Climate change, according to the document, is putting further stress on waterways in the Middle East. Crop yields are expected to decline as a result. In Asia, rising sea levels is posing a danger, as 4 out of 10 people in Asia reportedly live within 38 miles of a coast. And, in Latin America and the Caribbean, climate change will result to water shortages and cause a decline in agricultural productivity.

It is being ascertained that the abovementioned pressures could consequently lead to more disputes over territory and water supplies, and as the International Herald Tribune puts it, exacerbates social and religious tensions and fuels radicalization of the poor.

The Solana document states that “the United Nations predicts that there will be millions of ‘environmental migrants' by 2020 with climate change as one of the major drivers of this phenomenon.”

(With wire inputs)

EU leaders told to prepare for migration surge



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