Climate Breakdown Triggered More Than 55 Million Displacements In 2020

A new report by the Norwegian Refugee Council says internally displaced people matched or exceeded conflict displacement in most countries.

Last year was incredibly difficult for many across the world no matter where you live. The year 2020 became the hottest year on record and not only was the world grappling with unprecedented heat but also out of control wildfires and arson prolonged by anthropogenic climate change, famine and warmer nights than days.

The Norwegian Refugee Council‘s (NRC) Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IMDC) found that more than 50 million people were displaced including 9.2 million in South Asia, 234,000 in Central Asia and Europe and 4.5 million in North and South America. They say this is the highest annually reported figure in the last ten years.

The report noted that there are “48 Million people living in displacement as a result of conflict and violence in 59 countries and territories as of 31st December 2020″ and “there were 55 million internally displaced people across the world…” by the end of the hottest year on record.

The report notes that 10 million displacements were brought about by violence in the “Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria and Ethiopia” with extremist groups fuelling a concerning displacement crisis in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Burkina Faso.

The IDMC’s director said: “It is particularly concerning that these high figures were recorded against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, when movement restrictions obstructed data collection and fewer people sought out emergency shelters for fear of infection.”

Photograph: United Nations

This year’s COP26 is expected to draw eyes from across the world but there is growing criticism from both private citizens, NGOs and organisations that is making it hard to trust that global government will do the right thing.

Global conflict has been upheld for some time by a gigantic military-industrial complex spoon-fed by authorities around the world. The similarities between conflict and climate change are similar, in that there is money to be made from oil and weapons, and effort to begin new pathways for clean living.

“The scale of displacement worldwide is increasing, and most of it is happening within countries’ borders. While responses must be led by governments and communities, the global implications of displacement require a global response and international cooperation. We have a shared responsibility to tackle this growing challenge, as it is already affecting the sustainable development of communities and entire countries.”

Photograph: Ty Faruki