The First Week of COP15

The first of the two-week UN Climate Change Conference has wrapped up. During the climate migration and displacement events, which were well attended, numbers and terminology continued

to be discussed and debated. Although it is widely agreed upon that drafting a new treaty to address climate migration and displacement may be the best option, it seems as though many of the delegates from the smaller Bangladeshi NGOs were pushing for status as “climate refugees” as they argue the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees is dangerously looking out-of-date and should be amended.

At the “Climate Change and Migration: Transformations or Humanitarian Crises?” event at Development and Climate Days, many issues were discussed such as migration as adaptation as well as the notion of national security versus human security in the climate migration discourse. Loss of culture and identity was also discussed when talking about entire relocation of a nation such as Tuvalu.

Here is a good article from Reuters that covers the “Kiribati: Our road to Copenhagen” side event at COP15. During the event, the people of Kiribati made it apparent that they hold a disheartened attitude from the reluctant possibility of long-term relocation through the means of skilled migration programs in other countries.

This week the climate negotiations continue along with numerous other events at the Bella Center and around Copenhagen. Things will come down to the wire as negotiators from the 192 countries participating in the talks review several draft texts in order to seal a deal before heads of state, including Obama, arrive later in the week. Check out the COP15 website

for daily roundups of the negotiations as well as other related news.

Here are a few pictures from the COP15 as well as some pics from a few of the migration and displacement events I attended.

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  • M. Comaskey

    Hello there Mr. Dan,
    Since working with refugees, and studying climate change over the past few years, I have been following the climate change and environmental migrant debate intently. This past year I have begun putting together my thesis on the concept. I have been quietly loving this blog, getting excited daily and showing my friends. However never informing you how much I have appreciated all the work you have done in creating awareness on the subject and collecting brilliant speakers and authors every day. I just wanted to thank you very much. This work gives me butterflies in my stomached, knowing more people are thinking analytically on the topic. It is fantastic that climate change is now considered a legitimate issue being discussed with resolutions in mind, by the world’s brightest. I look forward to climate change refugees also becoming more than the recent misleading and discrediting apocalyptic news headlines, but people with status, rights and above all dignity.
    I look forward to reading more of your findings from Copenhagen this week with much anticipation as I have with the many past entries. I wish I was there too; Thank you again so much!
    Yours Fondly

  • Michelle

    Hi Dan,

    I also want to thank you for your great postings! You’re a fantastic source of extremely important news and information. I’ve linked to you via SFU’s ACT (Adaptation to Climate Change Team) here:

    ACT will be dedicating one of its six-month sessions to the topic of population displacement, and will study urgent considerations for Canada and other countries likely to become hosts to refugees, such as governance, employment impacts, health care and housing.

    I look forward to hearing more from you and your contributors in the future!


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