Climate passport, anyone?

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About a third of the land in Dhoblat Shibpur village on Sagar Island has sunk under the sea in less than 20 years. Image: Soumya Sarkar Nearly half a million people lost their countries during World War 1 and had to use the Nansen Passport till they could get citizenship of one country or another. A higher number may lose their countries as the sea level rises due to climate change. They should get a climate passport, said Dirk Messner, director of the United Nations University Institute for the Environment and Human Security and co-chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change. Messner and his colleague Robert Oakes at the Bonn-based institute agree that it is still difficult to single out climate change as the cause for migration in many cases, such as the move of many Africans to Europe. Nevertheless, they point out that environmental impacts related to climate change are affecting countries around the world with approximately 25 million people newly displaced every year. In the Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the issue is especially pressing, as both livelihoods and the islands themselves are threatened by sea level rise, floods and changes in rainfall patterns. […]

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