Urgent Action Needed to Tackle Environmental Migration

Monday, October 12, 2015

William Swing, the head of the International Migration Organization (IOM) said that more reliable data should be collected worldwide to give governments strong evidence on the urgency of the climate change issue, and push them to make policy needed to address it. More global action is needed to help migrants fleeing their homes due to climate change, the head of the International Migration Organization (IOM) said at the Paris climate talks on Thursday.

"Most important, we need more action," IOM Director General William Swing told reporters. "We need to support those who are being ravaged by climate change to migrate with dignity."

Swing, who heads the world's leading intergovernmental organization monitoring migration, condemned world powers for "working at a snail’s pace," saying they needed to "run like a gazelle."

He said more reliable data should be collected worldwide to give governments strong evidence on the urgency of the climate change issue, and push them to make policy needed to address it.

Swing also stated that it is a significant progress that the draft version of Paris climate agreement recognizes the need to protect people who have been affected by the consequences of climate change.

“It is the first time we have an actual specific reference to protecting people made vulnerable by climate change. We would prefer more, but it is sufficient to show progress, we are happy already with that,” he said.

Swing added that people need to be protected and respected when they are faced with the ravage of climate change.

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