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Mar 14

Implementing the COP 21 Paris Agreement: a task force on displacement, what are the next steps on the road to COP 22?

Author : Marine Frank (1)

marine FrankAbstract : Few issues have such far-reaching global implications as climate change and the environment, with major significance for the work of UNHCR and the millions of forcibly uprooted people around the world. In addition to working on vital protection issues relating to population displacement induced by disasters and climate change, UNHCR works to prevent displacement through increasing the resilience of its person of concern particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The Paris Agreement that was adopted on 12 December 2015 by 195 countries is a turning point in history. Indeed, the Paris Agreement not only represents an historic commitment from States to reduce greenhouse gases and established a sustainable framework to do so, but it also serves wider purposes, such as combating poverty, promoting rights and ultimately peace.

Notably, the preamble contains a reference to migrants, and the Paris Agreement contains many references to the protection of people, the resilience of communities and the importance of livelihood. Most importantly, the Paris Agreement creates a task force to develop recommendations for integrated approaches to avert, minimize and address displacement related to the adverse impacts of climate change. This is also an acknowledgment of the dangers of displacement and a welcome recognition of climate change as a factor of displacement.

This paper will explore the implications of the Paris Agreement and discuss the next steps, and actions to operationalize the Agreement in relation to the issue of displacement, migration and planned relocation.

Key-words : human mobility; climate change; displacement; task force; Paris Agreement.

(1) Marine Franck is a Climate Change Officer at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). With a background in international law and political science, Marine Franck has been working for 7 years in the field of climate change with the private sector, NGOs, UN agencies and governments. Notably, she promoted women’s rights in the UNFCCC process as a climate and energy officer for the NGO WECF where she had the opportunity to be the focal point for the Gender Constituency. During her work in a consultant firm in Canada (Ecoressources) she trained and assisted Congo Basin countries on the UNFCCC process. She was also for several years the main author of the guide to negotiations related to the UNFCCC. Since she joined UNHCR in 2013, her focus is on climate change-related displacement and planned relocation of populations. Marine Franck is the coordinator of the Advisory Group on Climate Change and Human Mobility, composed of UNHCR, IOM, UNU-EHS, UNDP, NRC/IDMC, Refugees International, Sciences Po-CERI, and RAED. Her role is to coordinate and provides technical support to UNFCCC Parties on human mobility in the context of climate change. She also ensures mainstreaming of this issue within UNHCR’s policy and operations

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