Most of those displaced by climate change will remain in their home countries or regions, but many will leave. As a temperate northern country, Canada will be seen as a haven for these climate refugees.
“Climate migration is going to be a serious problem if the world does nothing,” said Stephen Kaduuli, a refugee rights policy analyst at CPJ.
Canada and Alberta have reaped the tremendous benefits of fossil fuel production for decades while the long-known consequences are primarily borne by others.
Many experts, including Kaduuli, argue that Canada thus has a “moral obligation” to provide safe-haven for those forced to flee their homes due to extreme weather events or unlivable conditions.
But we can also expect that the ugly side of our society that targeted Syrians will reappear, given that the earliest and largest numbers of climate migrants are likely to be from places in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
“They will mostly be racialized people, so the same conditions will apply,” Kaduuli added. “There will be racism, xenophobia, calling them names.”