Climate change and human rights


By Klaus Reiche

Kiribati is the first state which has been forced to prepare plans for the evacuation of the whole nation due to climate change.

The state consists of 33 islands and its habitable area is on average three metres above sea-level. Due to climate change, permanent ice sheets will melt and heat will be taken up by the oceans and thus sea levels will rise by around 1.00 to 1.24 metres by the end of this century. If a certain temperature threshold is crossed, the complete Greenland ice sheets could melt and sea level rises of up to seven metres over a millennium are possible. This will cause serious harm to countries like Kiribati, which is now preparing to escape future harm.

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