With reports of Arctic fires (e.g. Cockburn 2019) in the summer of 2019 and extreme heat waves and droughts in South Asia and Europe and flooding in the USA becoming more frequent and intense, and weekly worldwide climate demonstrations, we are reminded that climate change is very real, and political action has to be taken urgently.
There is a great scientific consensus that climate change is to a large extent humanmade; i.e. that human activities have largely contributed to climate change (e.g. IPCC 2013; IPCC 2018; World Bank 2010). We know that if we do not cut carbon emissions and stop ecosystem and biodiversity destruction urgently and radically, catastrophic climate consequences are highly probable. Published estimates of the numbers of people who may be displaced by climate crisis-related effects by 2050 range from 25 million to 300 million people (e.g. Kälin 2010; Wilkinson et al. 2016).
Countries at the highest risk of climate crisis are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. These countries in the global South will bear an estimated 75% of the costs of the climate crisis, while the poorest half of the world’s population cause just 10% of CO2 emissions (World Bank 2010).