The UN has announced that we can expect to see 50 million environmental refugees by 2020, and that many people are already being displaced by food shortages and bad weather in Africa and India.

An article in the Huffington Post talks about migrants arriving in Southern European countries such as Spain and Germany, and points to food shortages as a catalyst in the recent middle East uprisings.

Environmental refugees have been on the move now for years, cramming camps in the Sudan, for instance; however, there has been no measurement of their numbers because until now there has been no official designation of environmental crisis for refugee status. A refugee was someone fleeing war or human rights infringements.

Looks like the UN may have to create a new category, and fast!

ACT examines the impacts on food supply for Canadians in our upcoming session: Climate Change Adaptation and Crops & Food Supply, which runs April-December 2011, with a major report on policy responses in this context due out in February 2012.