Migration, security critical to climate change

As the impacts of climate change become more evident, Hinrich Tholken, head of the Division on Climate and Environmental Foreign Policy, in addition to Sustainable Economy, at the German Federal Foreign Office, has urged policy makers to consider issues of migration and security as critical aspects of climate change.

Addressing a group of journalists during a climate change training workshop in Berlin, Germany, recently, Tholken stressed that it was critical that small island developing states, in addition to other vulnerable countries, implement mechanisms to build their resilience.

"There is concern that climate change might induce migration. When we look at countries such as Bangladesh, which is densely populated and which has seen repeated storms and the population continues to grow, eventually people will want to find somewhere else to go because they will begin to lose their territory due to unforeseen events," he declared.

"We are also finding that many of the migrants that come to Europe these days, that are found on ships and the Mediterranean Sea, come from poor countries. I must point out that these countries are not poor mainly because of economic factors, but climate change is impacting the make-up and development process of many areas, and so we have to begin to think about these issues," Tholken said.

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