22 May 2007

Australian Greens Party urges government to look at climate refugee issue

9:09 am on 22 May 2007

The Immigration Department in Australia has conceded that the government has no plans to help Pacific Island people who will need to migrate because of climate change induced rising sea levels.

The comments come from Australian Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Kerry Nettle who says the government needs to lead an international response to the issue of climate refugees and develop a plan for how Australia can help its Pacific neighbours.

She says following from the Stern report that predicted 150 to 200 million Climate Change refugees, last week Christian Aid released a report estimating that 250 million people faced permanent displacement as a direct consequence of climate change.

Senator Nettle says having accepted that the refugee convention does not cover climate refugees, the government is still refusing to work with the international community or the region to come up with a plan about how to deal with the movement of people due to climate change.