Reports Explore Climate Change Impacts in Arctic, Climate Displacement
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
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SWIPA 2017 finds that the Arctic’s climate is shifting to a new state as the region is warming faster than any other on Earth.

The assessment also notes that effective mitigation and adaptation policies require a solid understanding of Arctic climate change.

The Oxfam report explains how climate change is driving displacement, and highlights unequal impacts, as people in poorer countries are much more likely to be forced to move by extreme weather disasters.

14 November 2017: The Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) has issued a report titled, ‘Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) 2017,’ which presents the findings of the fourth AMAP assessment addressing Arctic climate issues. And Oxfam International has published a report titled, ‘Uprooted by Climate Change: Responding to the growing risk of displacement,’ which explores the relationship between climate change and displacement.

­SWIPA 2017 is a direct followup to the first ‘Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA): Climate Change and the Cryosphere’ assessment report published in 2011. The report finds that the Arctic’s climate is shifting to a new state as the region is warming faster than any other on Earth. The assessment states that climate change in the Arctic has continued at a rapid pace, and that changes will continue through at least mid-century, due to warming already locked into the climate system. It concludes that substantial cuts in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions now can stabilize impacts after mid-century, and that adaptation policies can reduce vulnerabilities. The report also notes that effective mitigation and adaptation policies require a solid understanding of Arctic climate change.

Oxfam calls for COP 23 to reaffirm the necessity of finance for addressing loss and damage “above and beyond” the US$100 billion annually promised by developed countries for adaptation and mitigation.

Among other issues, the report also addresses: the changing interactions between the cryosphere and the hydrosphere; the Arctic’s role in the global climate system; and challenges and opportunities in the Arctic, including risks and hazards to Arctic communities, and impacts on wildlife and ecosystems. The report recommends limiting future change, adapting to near-term impacts, supporting the advancement of understanding, and raising public awareness of the implications of changes in the Arctic cryosphere. [Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) 2017]

The Oxfam report explains how climate change is driving displacement, and highlights unequal impacts, as people in poorer countries are much more likely to be forced to move by extreme weather disasters. The publication underscores that the challenges associated with displacement in the context of climate change require appropriate responses, including minimizing displacement, upholding the rights of people on the move, supporting long-term strategies for safe and dignified migration, and providing finance and resources for those forced to move.

The report recommends, inter alia, that: the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UNFCCC lay the ground for a robust Facilitative Dialogue 2018, and reaffirm the necessity of finance for addressing loss and damage “above and beyond” the US$100 billion annually promised by developed countries for adaptation and mitigation. It calls for the 2018 Global Compact on Migration to, among others: reaffirm the international responsibility to minimize displacement through addressing the root causes of climate change and factors in vulnerability; and support short- and long-term strategies to ensure safe and dignified movement for those forced to move by climate change, while recognizing relocation as an option of last resort. Among recommended regional and national responses, the report highlights the need to encourage the establishment and strengthening of regional mobility schemes and agreements, and expand opportunities for safe and regular migration for those who may be forced to move permanently. [Uprooted by Climate Change: Responding to the Growing Risk of Displacement] [Executive Summary] [Infographic] [Publication Landing Page]


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