People around the world are now three times more likely to be displaced by a climate disaster than by political conflict, according to a new report by non-profit group Oxfam. The report, which was published prior to the United Nation’s Climate Summit in Madrid earlier this month, is aimed at raising awareness of climate change-related displacement. It revealed that approximately 30 people per minute are forced away from their homes, or approximately 20 million people a year. Cyclones, floods, and wildfires pose much more serious threats than earthquakes or volcanic eruptions—and the number of these climate-related disasters has increased five-fold in the last decade. The report also states that the world’s poorest countries are most at risk of displacement. Eighty percent of those displaced in the last decade live in Asia—home to more than one-third of the world’s poorest people. And countries from Somalia to Guatemala are seeing large numbers of people displaced by both conflict and climate crisis. “Our governments are fueling a crisis that is driving millions of women, men, and children from their homes and the poorest people in the poorest countries are paying the heaviest price,” Chema Vera, Oxfam International’s acting executive director, said. Oxfam is calling for more urgent and ambitious emissions reductions to minimize the impact of the climate crisis on people’s lives, and for governments to establish new financing to help communities recover and rebuild from climate-related disasters.
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