14 July 2008

Call for immigration quota to include climate change refugees

A report from the Make Poverty History coalition urged the Government to include "climate change refugees" in its yearly quota, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. James Ensor, co-chair of the coalition, argued Australia has a responsibility to support its neighbours who are affected by climate change by allowing them to migrate to the country.

Developing nations in the Pacific are increasingly becoming inundated by the rising sea levels, and some farmers are resorting to growing crops in buckets, reports the newspaper.  As a nation who contributes a lot of carbon emissions to climate change, Mr Ensor believes Australia should offer aid to these troubled countries.  Part of this aid should be offering an Australia visa to those looking for a new place to live.

"What is becoming increasingly clear around the world is that climate change is contributing to large scale movements of people," he said, and internal movement is not going to always be possible.  "As a regional leader and as a country that is one of the highest per capita carbon emitters in the world, we have a responsibility to help those working families just outside our border who are struggling as well". 

The Australian Government recently increased its quota for Australia visas to 190,300, particularly so that skils shortages in the cities and regional Australia can be eased. 

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for visas to Australia.

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