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Claudia Roth. Photo: Bundestag

Greens VP demands German citizenship for ‘climate refugees’

Bundestag Vice-President Claudia Roth (Greens) has spoken out in favor of welcoming migrants who have to leave their homelands because of climate change and has called for granting them German citizenship rights.

Published: December 14, 2019, 7:14 am


    “The climate crisis is the cause of migration and flight – especially in the global South, which has contributed least to global warming. Climate protection is therefore a question of global justice,” Roth told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.

    The Green politician complained that the Geneva Refugee Convention for the victims of natural disasters does not go far enough. That is why new instruments are needed for international law, she argued. One possibility is a so-called climate pass. “It could allow those affected a self-determined and early relocation to safe countries – and grant them citizenship-like rights there.”

    According to Roth, Germany can also grant citizenship for climate refugees. Asked whether she would not be fueling opponents of the refugee policy with such proposals, the vice-premier of the Bundestag responded: “I am not guided by fear in my politics. Otherwise, the fear makers would have won long ago.”

    Under the leadership of Roth, the Greens submitted an application to the Bundestag on Friday calling on the German government to take responsibility for “climate-induced migration, flight and expulsion”. It was a “question of climate justice” that Germany “as the biggest contributor to the climate crisis” also take shared responsibility.

    The Federal Government should therefore work internationally to offer “people threatened by global warming the option of gaining access to protection and ultimately citizenship rights in largely secure countries, especially in countries with historically or currently high greenhouse gas emissions,” the application statement noted.

    In addition, she promoted the “introduction of a climate pass at national, European and international level”. However, it must also be ensured that “all climate policy projects comply with gender-responsive and inclusive criteria”.

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