September 25, 2022
Millions of people are displaced every year by climate change.  Jose Andres, Leon Panetta and others are teaming up to try to help

storm Destroying the Caribbean. The floods have left vast areas of pakistan underwater, Drought continues to wreak havoc in parts of Africa and the Middle East. And changing weather patterns are driving millions out of their homes – more than 200 million people are expected to be displaced by climate-related disasters by 2050.

Pakistani flood victims in makeshift camp
FILE: Displaced people start living in temporary camps after their homes were flooded due to heavy monsoon rains in Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, August 30, 2022.

Hussein Ali / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

But a diverse group of leaders, thinkers and activists, including chefs Jose Andres, former cabinet secretaries Leon Panetta and Janet Napolitano, and several former presidents and big city mayors, will meet for the first time this week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Assembly in New York to try to force world leaders to think about how migration caused by climate change can be addressed.

Laurene Powell Jobs and the Climate Migration Council she launched Emerson Collective, includes Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano – two former homeland security secretaries who oversaw US immigration policies – as well as Leon Panetta, who served as CIA director and Secretary of Defense. Michael Morrell, also a former CIA Deputy Director and CBS News national security contributor; San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria; Former President and Mayor of Costa Rica and Bogota, Colombia; and Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States.

“It’s not a topic that governments like to entertain because they want to preserve the sovereignty of their borders. It’s a difficult conversation, but it’s one that if we go about how to manage this massive influx. Going to be responsible is Marshall Fitz, managing director of immigration for Emerson Collective, which will help run the new climate group.

Immigration policy remains one of the great unresolved policy challenges in the United States – an issue brought back to the national conversation in recent days by Republican governors who sent buses and planeloads of migrants for Washington and Massachusetts. Most of those crossing the US-Mexico border are arriving from Central and South America, forced to leave due to widespread political and economic conflict, but many are also fleeing rural agricultural areas where drought or extreme weather causes farming. It’s become difficult.

Climate-caused immigration, Fitz said, is “gasoline on the fire of all forces that have already emigrated at historic levels.” “We’re seeing the greatest number of people moving forward. Climate is a real force that’s going to make decisions about where people peak.”

Fitz said the group plans to meet on Tuesday to find out how it can force discussions about climate-bound immigration on a global scale. The short-term goal is to put it on the agenda of the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, which takes place in Cairo in November, or at least organize less formal gatherings on the sidelines of confab with leaders in attendance.

Former Colombian Foreign Minister Marta Lucía Ramírez said she was joining the new council because “all levels of society need to work together to find solutions, using responsible leadership from governments more effectively.”

Former US ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson, who handled Western Hemisphere affairs for the Obama administration, said she was joining because the number of people forced to flee their homes due to climate change “will only increase, Will put further pressure on an international system that is already facing unprecedented levels of displaced people. We need bold action at the local, national, regional and international levels.”

Andres said his travels around the world led by his World Central Kitchen organization that provides free meals to refugees and people displaced by natural disasters have shown him “how climate change and devastating weather events have affected communities.” destroyed and affected lives.”

“Our world needs real solutions on climate change that invest in local communities and build tall tables, not high walls,” he said.

“We don’t have the kind of pressure campaign to include it on the international agenda like blue-chip leaders really showing the breadth and depth of interest in the solution here,” Fitz said.

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