Migration and COP26

Updated 7 April 2022: Climate Justice is Social Justice!


Episode four of The Breakdown looks at the intersection between racism and climate change, highlighting how climate change is first and foremost a social justice issue. Looking forward the episode explores the role of the Green New Deal as part of a just and fair transition.

Episode four also features Co-Executive Director of The Green New Deal Uk, Fatima Ibrahim; Author of ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’, David Wallace-Wells, and Podcast Host and Writer Mary Heglar.

THE BREAKDOWN is a five-part film series on climate change: exploring how we got here, where we’re headed, and what we can ALL do to make a difference.⁠

Updated 28 December 2021: Guardian: Asad Rehman on climate justice: ‘Now we are seeing these arguments cut through’

“Winning on the climate is never going to be possible with environmentalists alone; we need to build social licence for the change that is needed and that means bringing in other movements – the labour movement, people working on economic justice and poverty, you have to bring in the energy of Black Lives Matter, migrant rights groups.”

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/27/asad-rehman-on-climate-justice-now-we-are-seeing-these-arguments-cut-through

See Wretched of the Earth:

Wretched of The Earth is a grassroots collective for Indigenous, black, brown and diaspora groups and individuals demanding climate justice and acting in solidarity with our communities, both here in the UK and in the Global South. https://www.facebook.com/wotearth

Updated 14 December 2021: This is a very powerful analytical description of the Climate crisis from an international perspective.

Democracy Now: “A Bigger Picture”: Ugandan Activist Vanessa Nakate on Bringing New Voices to the Climate Fight

We go to Kampala, Uganda, to speak to climate activist Vanessa Nakate on the occasion of her first book being published, “A Bigger Picture: My Fight to Bring a New African Voice to the Climate Crisis.” In an extended interview, she describes the challenges of being a young Ugandan woman from a continent that contributes less than 4% of the world’s carbon emissions yet suffers the worst consequences of the climate crisis and is often ignored by the Global North. “There won’t be climate justice if specific groups of people are being left behind,” says Nakate, founder of the Africa-based Rise Up Movement. “We are facing the same storm, but we are definitely in different boats.”: https://youtu.be/quPKFjqwzJo


The UK hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021

2 December 2021: It is our emissions that are causing migration. Can we please stop ill-treating migrants by Cryton Chikoko

The carbon footprint of the world’s richest 1% is on track to be 30 times higher than what is needed to limit global warming to 1.5C by 2030. While emissions of the poorest 50% will continue to be below climate goals, a recent study found out.  

Global warming is hugely caused by human activities of the Global North but the consequences are felt the most in the Global South. It is the poorest and most marginalised populations least responsible for climate change who are most exposed to its negative effects, more susceptible to damage and have the least resources to respond, adapt, recover and are hit the hardest by measures to combat the climate crisis.

Compare the carbon footprints of Masauko from Malawi and a typical British family:

“Growing up,” said Masauko, “Our family had no car. We had no refrigerator. We were lucky if we ate meat once every two weeks. Our main mode of transport was walking. No holidays. Pretty much that applies to everyone in my country. The only time I boarded a plane was at the age of 28 to come to the UK.” 

“And compare that with my UK neighbours. They are a family of four with one teenage daughter. The family has 3 cars. One car is for their teenage daughter. They have a freezer loaded with chicken breasts and mince beef – they eat meat about four or five times a week. It is an annual routine to fly out of the UK for holidays. They have been pretty much to all continents. In summer, our church in the UK is closed because most members fly abroad for holidays except the Global South migrants in the church who are locked in the country impeded from travelling by working to raise money to pay the UK Home Office extortionate visa fees and all sorts of discriminatory travel laws of the Global North.” We went to colonise them and they are coming to be colonised. It is oppression through and through. 

And in the Global North we have the super-rich – many of whom have multiple homes, private jets and superyachts who emit a lot more carbon than others. Another study that tracked the air travel of celebrities via their social media accounts found some celebrities emitted over a thousand tonnes of carbon a year. Their oversized emissions are fuelling extreme weather around the world but these emitters are never directly affected by its consequences at least for now and on this earth. 

The poorest half of the global population will still emit far below the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement by 2030. The richest 1 percent and 10 percent of people are set to exceed this level by 30 times and 9 times respectively, according to the study commissioned by Oxfam and based on research carried out by Institute for European Environmental Policy and the Stockholm Environment Institute. In this grossly unequal world, it is the emissions of the rich, who are wallowing in luxuries, that are killing the poor. The injustice and inequality is staggering. 

And back to Masauko’s home village in Malawi where extreme weather is now the norm. The temperatures are soaring hot. There is more rain and flooding. Mudslides wash what is planted into the river. The main source of drinking water is from the river which gets filled with rubbish when it floods. Many houses are destroyed every time the water level rises. Perennial poverty and hunger are typical. We have destroyed their habitations. This means that people, like Masauko, have to migrate to the Global North (where they are generally treated very badly) if they are to have a decent life. As the planet warms, the effects of climate change will increase migration and displacement across the world. Migration will potentially become a key coping strategy for millions of people, and existing migrants and refugees will be exposed to more hostility in their host countries. It is our emissions and wars initiated in the Global North that are fuelling migration. Can we please, therefore, stop ill-treating migrants? 

It is about time climate reparations were used as a means of addressing the historical contributions made, and continue to make, toward global warming. It is important that the Global North own up to that responsibility of paying what they are due to the Global South.  There is no climate justice without racial and migrant justice. Hopefully, COP26 will not turn out to be a “Global North greenwash festival” and a “two-week celebration of business as usual and blah, blah, blah,” as slammed by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Cryton Chikoko is co-founder of Equanicity, SNN signatory. 

COP26 related Events – see below

The Walk updated 15 November at 18:17  · Migrant justice = Climate justice. Little Amal visited @cop26uk last week to stand alongside young changemakers who brought their powerful voices to the conference to demand change.Standing alongside the young Samoan activist @briannafruean, Amal opened the Gender Day plenary as Brianna highlighted the disproportionate impact of the climate crisis on girls and women from the global south.Afterwards, Amal met young activists in the heart of the COP26 blue zone beneath the hanging globe…🌍📷 @cop26uk / Douglas Robertson


11 November 2021: The author, of this article, Cryton Chikoko is a Migrant Voice community researcher and founder of Equanicity, a media platform advocating for equality in the UK.

Do It Now Now: Black communities hit the hardest by the climate crisis

​The historical lack of diversity in the climate change activism space creates a self-perpetuating inaccessibility that dissuades Black community leaders from entering a conversation that is shaping the health and wealth of the Black community the UK or abroad. The lack of Black voices at global climate change summit, COP26, tells a chilling story of exclusion, oversight and erasure. In an effort to aid intersectional thinking on this subject, Do it Now Now invited researcher Cryton Chikoko to examine the impact of climate change on Black communities in this post.

In the UK, the climate crisis overwhelmingly affects the Black people who predominately live in urban areas and are most in need of climate responsible regeneration and support. Despite being the least responsible for climate change; least likely to own a car, least likely to engage in air travel etc. Black communities are simultaneously more susceptible to the damage wrought by climate change and hit hardest by current measures to combat it. Those are some of the findings of the Inequality in a Future Wales report, led by Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, which examined the impact on equality of future trends such as climate change. The study has highlighted new challenges for Black people in the UK as world leaders gather at COP26 to discuss plans to address climate change.

[…] Climate change is a defining challenge of our times. We are not surprised that climate change unequally affects Black people. We have already seen how climate change is having a disproportionate impact on communities of colour in the global South as well as here in the UK. As COP26 draws to an end, the UK government must urgently re-examine climate mitigation policies, addressing the disadvantages to those who are most vulnerable. Climate change is an equality issue. Failing to address its impact through this lens, risks further entrenching economic, social, and medical divisions.

Read more: https://www.doitnownow.com/blog/black-communities-hit-the-hardest-by-the-climate-crisis

JWCI: Climate Justice is Migrant Justice – Together we Win! As world leaders gathered in Glasgow for COP26 in November 2021, on 11 November 2021, in the midst of the COP26 negotiations in Glasgow, campaigners at the forefront of these struggles came together for a lively discussion. JCWI was joined by fantastic speakers on the forefront of the struggle for climate, racial and migrant justice.

Flora, of All African Women’s Group, spoke about the disproportionate impact the climate crisis is having on racialised minorities and on women, and why this means those communities must be at the forefront of the struggle for justice. Angela Fonso, of Clean Air for Southall and Hayes, spoke about the impact of air pollution and gentrification on the minoritised community of London’s Southall, and the environmental racism her community is fighting. Yvonne Blake, of Migrants Organising for Rights and Empowerment, spoke about her work campaigning for freedom and justice, and why education is such a powerful tool for action. The event was chaired by the wonderful Karen Larbi, founder of POC in Nature.

The recording of the event is here:


Updated 11 November 2021: Guardian: Concern over letter advising asylum seekers not to join Cop26 protests

Recipients felt ‘threatened’ by letter from Mears, which is contracted to house asylum seekers in Glasgow

Concerns have been raised about a letter sent to thousands of asylum seekers in Glasgow advising them not to take part in policed protests during the Cop26 summit.

The letter was sent by the private housing provider Mears, which has the Home Office contract to house asylum seekers in the city, the UK’s largest dispersal area.

It warns recipients that there will be road closures, more visitors and an increased visibility of police officers in Glasgow during the conference. […]

On Thursday morning, grassroots immigrant support groups marched from Kenmure Street – where crowds prevented an immigration raid earlier this year – to the Home Office centre on the south side of the city, chanting “climate justice equals migrant justice”.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/11/asylum-seekers-advised-not-to-join-cop26-protests-letter-mears-glasgow

Open letter to heads of delegations of parties to UNFCCC COP26 – “Call for a Glasgow Emergency Pact at COP26

The Paris Agreement is in peril. 1.5 degrees will be crossed by 2030. We are out of time.

We need as many signatories across the board signing this open letter to heads of delegations of parties to UNFCCC COP26 calling for the establishment of a Glasgow Emergency Pact at COP26.

Please sign this in support of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, which represents the most climate vulnerable countries, for many of whom 1.5degrees is a death sentence.


The Walk:

9, 10 & 11 November Little Amal heads to Glasgow to find out who’s going to put the world together again…

Little Amal, a 3.5 metre puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee, has just completed The Walk. All along her epic 8000km journey she met many other young people who, like her, have been forced to leave their homes by violence, persecution, war or poverty. Very often these circumstances have been caused, at least in part, by the climate crisis.

The enforced journey of young refugees like Amal is one of many ways in which the planet is swivelling off its axis. Ever more borders are drawn and walls are built but the climate crisis affects us all. It defies borders and leaps over all walls.

At COP26 Little Amal will discover new realities about the world by meeting changemakers from many of the countries she has visited: young people who embody and express the urgent need to take action to shape a better future.

Updated 10 November 2021: Novara Media – Cop26: Climate Justice Visions From the Global South

This year’s Cop26 has seen unprecedentedly low representation from the Global South. For many outside the West, vaccine apartheid, lack of funding and the UK’s border regime have placed prohibitive obstacles in the way of travelling to Glasgow.

Despite this, voices from the Global South are more vital than ever for finding a path through the climate crisis. Indigenous cosmologies counteract the West’s subjugation of nature; farmers’ struggles achieve international cooperation far in advance of Europe’s nationally-blinkered left. Those on the climate frontlines organise with an urgency and depth barely visible in the nations most responsible for our predicament.

Read more: https://novaramedia.com/2021/11/10/cop26-climate-justice-visions-from-the-global-south/

6 November 2021: Tandrina, representing the Status Now Network North West Regional Working Group, member of WAST and Manchester City of Sanctuary addresses the COP26 rally in St Peters Square Manchester today :

RAPAR (@raparuk) Tweeted:
RAPAR at the start of the climate justice march in Manchester today https://t.co/hT6gzfvQv6 https://twitter.com/raparuk/status/1456988726220005376?s=20
Filipino activists from Kanlungan Filipino Consortium, member of Status Now Network are in global action protest in Glasgow.
Global day of action for climate justice in Glasgow
Climate change demo Coventry

Status Now leaflet: On COP 26

StatusNow logo

Solutions to this global crisis must move beyond man-made political borders.

The climate and biodiversity catastrophe that continues to compel the movements of people across these borders around the world can only stop when, in their turn, the UK Government and other Western states become compelled to abandon the drive for profit which underpins their wars and their immigration and public health policies. 

The Status Now Network (SNN) is comprised of people who, being without secure status, are among the most vulnerable, marginalised, and disempowered in our society, alongside indigenous people.  It includes many who have been forced, directly or indirectly, to flee to the Global North because of the ecological impact of climate change and bio-diversity destruction in their homelands. 

Through the pandemic, we have understood that essential changes must take place to create an alternative reality to that of the racism, hyper-nationalism and border securitisation we have seen during the pandemic, through under-resourced national lockdowns, heightened migration surveillance, the withholding of vaccine patents and unequal vaccine roll-outs.

Both intimate cooperation between governments to find solutions and a fundamental reconfiguration of the power and place of nation-states are necessary.  We are part of the solution.

You are very welcome to join us and grow our network between groups, organisations, individuals

The Status Now Network (SNN) does not use the word ‘amnesty’ – because of its implication of wrongdoing – but supports all actions to raise awareness about routes to regularisation.

The Status Now Network (SNN) calls for Indefinite Leave to Remain for all undocumented migrants and those in the legal process living in Britain and Ireland today. 

Download the StatusNow leaflet here:

Saturday 5 November 2021: Glasgow: Global Day for Climate Justice – Migrant Justice Block

Kanlungan Filipino Consortium is a signatory of Status Now: The Philippine Struggle to Climate Justice: Join us this Friday, 29 October 2021
“𝑃ℎ𝑖𝑙𝑖𝑝𝑝𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑠 𝑖𝑠 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑠 𝑚𝑜𝑠𝑡 𝑎𝑡 𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑘 𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑖𝑚𝑝𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑐𝑙𝑖𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑐𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑖𝑠” 𝐴𝑚𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑦 𝐼𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙, 2020.

Let’s root our struggle back home in ending the climate crisis. Join our upcoming forum “𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗣𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗖𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗝𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲” where we would talk about the on-ground situation of the impacts of climate change in the Philippines and what ways we can contribute as citizens of Global North.

29 𝗢𝗖𝗧𝗢𝗕𝗘𝗥, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟭 – 𝟰𝗣𝗠𝗦𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼 𝟮 𝗮𝘁 𝗣𝗲𝗺𝗯𝘂𝗿𝘆 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗖𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗲𝟭 𝗔𝘁𝗸𝗶𝗻𝘀 𝗦𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗿𝗲, 𝗗𝗮𝗹𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗻 𝗟𝗻, 𝗟𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿 𝗖𝗹𝗮𝗽𝘁𝗼𝗻, 𝗟𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗼𝗻 𝗘𝟴 𝟭𝗙𝗔
To give an in-depth discussion we will be enjoined by our speakers:
Jon Bonifacio, environmental delegate of Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (https://www.facebook.com/YACAPhilippines/?__tn__=kK*F&mc_cid=03165ca4f3&mc_eid=UNIQID) from Manila, represented our country at the COP26 in Glasgow in November. He is also the National Spokesperson of Saribuhay, a progressive youth environmental organisation.

He is also active in Fridays for Future International, ensuring that the stories of the Most Affected Peoples and Areas or MAPA are centred in the global fight for climate justice. As a graduate of molecular biology, he firmly believes in the importance of making science genuinely serve the people, particularly in the context of the climate crisis.
also, to give an in-depth situation of human and indigenous people’s rights in the country
We have Reywynx Morgado speaking live from Philippines and a member of Rural Missionary of The Philippines; Literacy and Numeracy Staff. A Journalist, Broadcaster, and a Writer. Rey has been a victim of political persecution in the country experience direct attacks under Duterte’s Regime.
This forum is free to attend in Physical and will be available for online audience via Zoom. Please sign up below for RSVP.

Sign up now:

https://forms.gle/52J3eH8fEZ4gtHSz5?mc_cid=03165ca4f3&mc_eid=UNIQID https://www.facebook.com/kanlunganuk/?mc_cid=03165ca4f3&mc_eid=UNIQID https://www.instagram.com/kanlungan_uk/?mc_cid=03165ca4f3&mc_eid=UNIQID https://twitter.com/kanlunganuk?mc_cid=03165ca4f3&mc_eid=UNIQID https://www.kanlungan.org.uk/?mc_cid=03165ca4f3&mc_eid=UNIQID


What is COP26: https://ukcop26.org/uk-presidency/what-is-a-cop/

The UK hosts the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021