In a sign of things to come, a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says Ottawa should create a new “climate migrants” immigration class to prepare for the inflow of people fleeing extreme climate change.
“Estimates of the number of climate-influenced migrants range widely, but most projections agree that in the coming years climate change will compel hundreds of millions of people to relocate,” the report says. “Climate change is one factor that interacts with many others to drive population movements.”
Many countries are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than Canada, said the 26-page report — Preparing BC for Climate Migration — published last week.
“Industrialized countries like Canada have disproportionately benefitted from the combustion of fossil fuels, whereas others who have contributed least to climate change will disproportionately feel its impacts,” the report states.
Canada is the fourth highest per-capita greenhouse gas emitter in the world according to 2008 World Resources Institute climate data (this estimate does not take into account emissions resulting from the burning of exported coal, oil and gas).