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UNHCR highlights climate-related displacement at Bonn talks

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UNHCR highlights climate-related displacement at Bonn talks

24 November 2017
A Somali family who lost most of their livestock because of severe drought pose for a picture in Wajaale, Somalia, June 2017.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, attended this month’s United Nations climate talks in Germany with the aim of raising awareness of displacement caused by extreme weather and other effects of climate change.

The agency, whose work includes help for those affected by disaster- and climate-related displacement, argued that climate change cannot be treated separately from other global trends such as population growth and urbanization, and a “holistic” approach is needed to tackle the consequences.

The conference, known as COP 23, took place in Bonn from 7 to 16 November and was attended by delegates from nearly 200 countries, as well as non-governmental organizations and commercial companies. Its goal was to discuss ways of implementing the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on halting global warming.

Displacement caused by climate change was a key topic, both at the conference and at more than 20 side events, in which UNHCR took part.

It pointed out that climate change amplifies the frequency and intensity of sudden disasters, such as hurricanes, floods and tornados, and contributes to more gradual environmental phenomena, such as drought and rising sea levels.

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