In its half-century history, the EU has absorbed wave upon wave of immigrants. There were the millions of political migrants fleeing Russian-imposed communism to western Europe throughout the cold war, the post-colonial and “guest worker” migrants who poured into western Europe in the boom years of the 1950s and 60s, the hundreds of thousands who escaped the Balkan wars of the 90s and the millions of economic migrants of the past decade seeking a better life.
Now, according to the EU’s two senior foreign policy officials, Europe needs to brace itself for a new wave of migration with a very different cause – global warming. The ravages already being inflicted on parts of the developing world by climate change are engendering a new type of refugee, the “environmental migrant”.
Within a decade “there will be millions of environmental migrants, with climate change as one of the major drivers of this phenomenon,” predict Javier Solana and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the EU’s chief foreign policy coordinator and the European commissioner for external relations. “Europe must expect substantially increased migratory pressure.” (more…)
European Union braces for waves of “environmental migrants”