What Will Be The Big Challenges Regarding Climate-Change Refugees In Europe In The Next 50 Years?
I just sat and watched from my window every other day, looking at the world outside. I was once and still am, a citizen of Uganda and I was and still am, currently a victim of something very common but is underestimated by people all around the world. My current situation was due to the severe change in our climate in Uganda. This change has had and still has an influence on our basic livelihood essentials such as our water, the food chain and of course, the development of the economy. As 80% of us Ugandans live in rural areas, most of us are farmers and we depend on agriculture to source our main necessities such as food, drinks and soap for us, our children, cattle and to sell however, with the intensity of the rainfall (which can’t be predicted) we experience devastating disasters such as floods. Other disasters in result of increased temperature and other climate-change are droughts, heat waves, famine and storms. This has negative impacts on our water supply, modes of transport, shelter, our health/hygiene, sanitation, safety and security, agriculture and it increases competition between animals and also humans.
THAT WAS 10 YEARS AGO
NOW, IT’S 2016
And I can now explain the issue which greatly has an impact on the world around us. It is called Climate-Change. Climate-change is when the climate pattern changes causing either negative or positive impacts. Climate change affects people like me and it can result in people moving from one place to the other. They are known as Climate-Change Refugees and Climate-Change Refugees simply are people who migrate due to a form of either man-made/natural disaster such as rise in sea levels. This might have been caused by the melting of the ice sheets (due to global warming) which can then result in flooding and this can result in the displacement of the inhabitants of these particular areas. Like me. Now a climate-change refugee in Europe.
One of the most common evidence of climate change is Global Warming which happens everywhere around the world and is the increase of the earth’s atmospheric temperature mostly due to the increase of CO2 emissions(which is as a result of human activities such as the continuous use and burning of fossil fuels and deforestation and these have an impact on the greenhouse effect) in the air.
As this issue is not well known globally, majority of the few who know about this think only of underdeveloped countries such as my country, Uganda where the impact is evidently seen or experienced. However, there are other countries globally where climate-change affects the habitat and its inhabitants. One of those places is the Alps, a large expanse of mountain ranges located in France which is one of Europe’s favourite winter destination with the Alps forming a nice range of ski slopes suitable for skiing however with global warming due to natural and human induced climate change, the frost which holds the slopes together is melting, causing instability and causing rocks to fall and forming landslides. It also influences change on the pattern of the snowfall, rainfall and it can bring about more occurrences of avalanches and flood (due to the melting of ice).
As this issue happens EVERY WHERE in the world, it would have a different impact and aftermath. For example, in Europe, France, there are more glaciation/ ice issues whereas in Uganda there are more heat and land related issues. For example, in Uganda there would be an increased occurrence of droughts, more frequent famines and heatwaves. With this comes more risks of the spread of diseases which are more likely to be attained air borne or/and water borne. In Europe, the melting of ice, ice sheets and change in the pattern of snow and rainfall will result in the increment of sea levels, the possible extinction of rare species located in these areas and the displacement of people and mostly wildlife located in these areas such as polar bears and penguins. The increment of the sea levels will/might/can cause floods which can damage farmlands and people’s homes and workplaces.
After telling this story, I hope you now understand climate change and what it does to everyone around the world and I’ve come up with a few steps which can only work if effort is put all over the world. A reduction of use in fossils, less deforestation (as they both result in too much CO2) and more use of renewable energy because the biggest challenge I’ve noticed is global warming and CO2 emissions causes this and I believe if little steps/actions are taken to combat these challenges with me starting in Europe, climate change/ climate-change refugees will decrease.