Failing to plan for climate refugees hands a cheap victory to the far right | Zoe Williams

Failing to plan for climate refugees hands a cheap victory to the far right | Zoe Williams

The climate crisis could cause mass displacement as land is left uninhabitable – nations have to work together to plan for this

As scientists wrestle to predict the true impact and legacy of Cop26, one speech, given at a rally organised by Global Justice Now, insisted upon a perspective not data-driven but moral. Lumumba Di-Aping, a South Sudanese diplomat and former chief negotiator for the G77, said: “The first resolution that should be agreed in Glasgow is for annex I polluters to grant the citizens of small island developing states the right to immigration.”

It was a tactful way of putting it: annex I nations are those with special financial responsibilities in tackling the climate crisis. They have these special responsibilities because their early industrialisation created so much of the carbon burden. A more pugilistic diplomat might have said “the people who created this disaster have to offer sanctuary to those displaced by it”, but then, he wouldn’t be a diplomat.

Zoe Williams is a Guardian columnist

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