By Lucía Vásquez
The universal change in climate is accelerating the frequency of increasingly destructive natural disasters and, with them, forced migrations become more and more massive. According to calculations by the United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR), in the next 50 years, between 250 and 1000 million people will lose their homes or be forced to move from their territory due to the effects of climate change.
The climate is changing, the sea level continues to rise, droughts and floods are putting food production in danger in Latin America. The Internally Displaced Persons Monitoring Center (IDMC) recorded that in 2013 alone, 22 million people from 119 countries in the world had to leave their homes due to natural disasters, which represents three times the number of people mobilized by violence and armed conflict.
Developing countries are the most vulnerable to forced migration, and it is young people and children who are going to experience firsthand the worst consequences that climate change will bring. This is why we have an extra responsibility to push for decisive action.
Many of the negotiators and political leaders who will be making decisions to reach a climate agreement during COP20 in Lima will not be here to see the consequences of their actions, but the vast majority of us young people will. The “generations of the future” are us and we are already living in the present. It is in the present that actions must be taken to stop the change in the climate.
Time is running out.