The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) is the most important annual event on this issue, as it allows its parties to advance in the design and implementation of measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This will be the last Convention before the Paris Agreement in 2020 enters into force and should allow for the completion of its regulation and to review the progress of the parties' commitments. After the change of venue announced at the beginning of November, COP25 will take place in Madrid from December 2 to 13, 2019, under the presidency of the Chilean government.
However, the Convention is also a summit on human mobility for several reasons. First of all, it is important to remember that human mobility has progressively entered the scope of COP discussions, in particular from the 2010 Cancun Adaptation Framework, which calls for measures to address three forms of climate mobility: displacement induced by climate change, migration, and planned relocations. And secondly, because the approval of the Paris Agreement also represents a before and after in this process, as it recognizes the situation of climate migrants and establishes a Task Force to specifically address the issue of human mobility related to climate change.
The Task Force has contributed to integrating migration into climate change discussions, pointing out the importance of addressing the impact of environmental and climate degradation on population movements. Scientific evidence has accompanied this process: the reports of the intergovernmental panel of experts on climate change have progressively incorporated migration into their analyzes. A recent study published in Nature Communications triples the estimation of vulnerabilities against sea level rise. According to this report, a conservative estimate of 190 million people will live in areas submerged by high tides by 2100. This situation makes the planning of human mobility necessary from areas that are not going to be habitable in the future.
Each COP in recent years has integrated a greater number of events and discussions related to human mobility in its different components. The Task Force presented its recommendations during Katowice COP24 in 2018. These recommendations were officially approved and identify a set of opportunities to reduce, minimize and address displacement related to the adverse impacts of climate change. The Task Force will present its activities during COP25, as well as a work plan for the coming years.
Integrating human mobility in the COP and more generally in discussions on climate change is essential to prevent forced migration and support people who will be forced to leave their communities due to phenomena such as sea level rise, desertification , the melting of glaciers, the acidification of the ocean, droughts and hydrometeorological threats. By bringing together all parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the COPs represent the ideal platform to advance these discussions and achieve international consensus to address climate migration.