Recognise the climate crisis as a cause of flight

Recognise the climate crisis as a cause of flight

Posted on the 17/02/20

Have a look at the original press statment here (in German)


Fleeing from climatic conditions and changes that are clearly attributable to man-made climate change should be legally recognised. This is what CEO of Humanistische Vereinigung (HV) and Vice President of the EHF Michael Bauer stated, as he called for German and European law to give appropriate consideration to such cases.

“Climate change with its man-made causes is a fact that is also formally recognised by the Federal Government. Germany is a centuries-old industrial nation and currently the world’s sixth largest emitter of greenhouse gases associated with current climate change. A humanistic policy must take these facts into account”, said Michael Bauer on 14 February. “People who are forced to leave their homelands because of dramatic and catastrophic climatic changes should be met in a responsible, fact-oriented and humanitarian manner. We therefore expect politicians to take appropriate measures so that climatic and ecological motives for fleeing are taken into consideration”, Bauer continued.

In a recent statement, the German Federal Government said that it does not intend to make any changes in asylum law in order to recognise “flight from climatic conditions and changes”. “People in third countries who leave their home countries solely because of the negative consequences of climate change are not refugees in the sense of the Geneva Convention on Refugees, according to current international treaty law,” the Federal Government continued. However, it admitted that “Due to the increasing intensity and frequency of extreme weather events and creeping climate change, the consequences of climate change represent an increasingly important, direct and indirect factor influencing migration and flight”.

Michael Bauer criticised this statement, as he stated that this attitude reflects a double standard. “One must bear this in mind: aware of beign largely responsible for the catastrophic situation of these people, we tell them as they arrive at our doorstep: too bad, there is nothing we can do for you. This is an attitudethat has nothing to do with reason or humanity“, he said.


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