20 Million People a Year Displaced by Climate Change: Oxfam

Climate-fuelled disasters forced an estimated 20 million people per year -one person every two seconds- to leave their homes and communities, being thus the first cause of internal displacement over the last 10 years, a study conducted by the organization Oxfam, released earlier this month, revealed.

“Today, you are seven times more likely to be internally displaced by cyclones, floods, and wildfires than by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and three times more likely than by conflict,” according to the research.

The study titled ‘Forced from Home: Climate-fueled Displacement‘ shows that climate-related disasters rose from around 200 per year in 2008 to over 1,500, a decade later.

While no country is exempted, poor countries are overwhelmingly those most at risk. The researchers demonstrated that small island and developing states such as Cuba and Tuvalu make up seven of the 10 countries that face the highest risk of internal displacement as a direct result of extreme weather events.

These communities are 150 times more likely to be displaced by extreme weather disasters than communities in Europe for instance.

“Whether you’re living in the United States or in Spain, you’ll be experiencing the impacts of the climate crisis […] but the majority of people that are being impacted are living in poor countries,” Oxfam International’s Climate Policy Lead Nafkote Dabi told The Real News.

“Our study shows you’re four times more likely to be displaced by climate-related disasters if you live in poor countries compared to if you’re in the U.S.,” she added.