9 Feb 2011

ADB report says Asian and Pacific countries will be uninhabitable due to climate

11:37 am on 9 February 2011

An Asian Development Bank report is predicting some small Asian and Pacific countries will become uninhabitable because of cyclones and rising sea-levels.

The new report claims New Zealand may have to deal with an influx of climate-change immigrants within the next 30 to 50 years.

The purpose of the report is to urge governments to start preparing for the consequences of that, and consider where those who will be displaced should move to.

One of the researchers, Bart Edes, says environmental emigrants are not refugees by definition, so there is no obligation for other countries to accept them.

"This is one of the issues that will require debate and examination. This is a serious policy issue people are going to move, if we include Asia in the picture as well as the Pacific we are talking millions of people will be moving adding to the current wave of migration going across borders."

Bart Edes says the report is a wake-up call which governments and policy makers ignore at their peril.