Welcoming climate refugees and preventing displacement
As a number of recent extreme weather events and disasters have proven, the climate crisis is already impacting the lives of people around the world. Moreover, the communities on the frontlines of this crisis are nearly always among those who have done the least to cause it.
Policy concerning migration to the UK with a Green New Deal therefore necessarily begins with a recognition of the grossly disproportionate contribution made by the UK and other wealthy countries to the climate crisis. This must also be accompanied by a recognition of the historic and continuing injustices of British colonialism and imperialism, through which the UK’s wealth was generated, particularly through the violence of natural resource extraction.
Migration policy with a Green New Deal must also recognise the ways in which unfair, restrictive trade deals and wealth-extractive operations by UK companies operating overseas drive global inequality and displacement. Moreover, as writer and migrant justice organiser Harsha Walia argues, our global economic system has relied on maintaining a group of people regarded as “illegal” or “undocumented” so as to create cheap, easily exploitable labour within countries in the Global North.