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Politics of welcome for climate change migrants

Filipino villagers walk through drought ridden rice fields on Cebu island - EPA

Filipino villagers walk through drought ridden rice fields on Cebu island - EPA

22/11/2016 16:33

(Vatican Radio) The plight of millions of migrants fleeing environmental disasters due to climate change will be addressed at a two-day conference hosted by the Pontifical Lateran University.

“The Path” international summit will discuss proposals to Italian and European political leaders on solutions to avert more social disasters caused by environmental catastrophes and will promote a politics of “welcome” to migrants.

The international conference, which takes place on 1 and 2 December, will also discuss the outcomes of last week’s “COP22” UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech at which the summit’s president pleaded with US president elect Donald Trump to join the struggle against global warming.

According to research by CeSpi, an Italian centre for the study of international politics, about 160 million people between 2008 and 2014 were forced to migrate from their countries because of the disastrous effects of climate change. They fled to other regions or even to other continents.

The event will bring together representatives from both international secular and Catholic organisations and will be addressed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Other speakers include those on the front line of helping migrants who arrive in Italy.

The conference is inspired by a section of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Sii, which says “that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”.

22/11/2016 16:33