All Out for Global Climate Justice

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Join NNIRR, friends and allies in New York to call on the world's governments to take action for climate justice and migrant rights

If you will be in New York tomorrow (Sunday) for the People's Climate Action march, please join NNIRR and our international partners from the Global Coalition on Migration. We'll be marching with the Climate Justice Alliance and gathering at 65th Street and Central Park West beginning at 9:30 am. Look for this banner! (And feel free to bring your own banners!)

This next week in New York, the UN General Assembly will be opening for its 69th session, preceded by a major round of activities on indigenous people's, population and development, and climate change. 

As you know, NNIRR has been striving to make the connections between climate change, migration and human rights. It is an intersection that is finally beginning to emerge in more popular discussions in the broad climate change movement, although understandings are still uneven and often uninformed. There is even an important question of "definition", as we note in our fact sheet on Climate Justice and Migration

There is a growing, unresolved debate on defining "climate migrant" or "climate/environmental refugee":

  • Some argue that there is a need to define a new class of climate refugees who have been forcibly displaced by the effects of climate change and that they be given special protections and status (such as refugee status under the Refugee Convention) and even redress for this injustice.
  • Others suggest that defining a special class of climate refugees would create a hierarchy of immigrants, and would split and differentiate climate refugees from economic refugees, who are all affected by the same global economic and political system.

The issue has been emerging for a number of years on the international level, and has becomeart of the global program of advocacy work that NNIRR and partners are involved in under the broad umbrella of "migrants in crisis." The arena raises familiar concerns: on the one hand, how to address immediate and emergent issues, including displacement of large populations, which need humanitarian responses, while understanding and addressing the underlying causes and contributing factors and addressing longterm consequences. It is an increasingly important issue, and we have a lot of work to do!

In addition to the march on Sunday, there are numerous other activities planned during the week. A two-day People's Climate Justice Summit includes a great line-up of plenaries and a tribunal, taking place in two sites in New York. See the latest version of the summit program hereYou will want to pre-register for these and receive a confirmation letter. Because of the GA opening and presence of government representatives, security will be tight, especially in the vicinity of the Church Center of the UN, located just across from the UN itself.

The Global Coalition on Migration is tentatively planning a side event on climate justice and migration on the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 23. Delegation members from Mali, Mexico, Asia, Europe and the US would be contributing to this conversation. Check NNIRR's website for updated information on this event and more.