Members of the German Green Party have introduced a proposal that could allow tens of millions of so-called climate refugees to be allowed to live in the country and receive passports once they arrive.
A long-time Green politician, Claudia Roth, one of the main supporters of the proposal, says that the advantages would apply to those living on small Pacific islands, which may be endangered because of climate change.
As for how many “climate refugees” could enter the country, the Greens’ proposal mentions the World’s Bank figure of 150 million climate refugees that might flee their homelands of Africa, South Asia, and South America by 2050.
According to the UN, however, the number of climate migrants could reach up to between 25 million to 1 billion by the year 2050.
Polling shows Germans are not ready for more migrants
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to accept over a million refugees in 2015 already caused a major upheaval in German society and politics, including erosion in support of Germany’s traditional parties and the rise of the Alternativ für Deutschland, a political party advocating strong immigration restrictions.
The backlash to the Green Party proposal was strong from other German parties.
North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) criticized the proposal saying: “Immigration still poses major challenges for us in the area of internal security. I suggest we take care of that first.”
Phillip Amthor, another CDU politician and an interior expert, warned of “making climate changes a reason for fleeing because this would only increase the migratory pressure worldwide.”
Linda Teuteberg, a member of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) responded harshly to the proposal, calling it a “state-guaranteed world rescue fantasy”. She further said that Germany should not serve as a “Noah’s Ark for the world.”
The German government’s statistics prove that violent crime in the country rose by 10 percent between 2015 and 2016, when Germany began accepting large numbers of migrants, many of them young men. The German government confirmed that migrants may have “fueled the violent crime rise.”
Moreover, more than 90 percent of the crime rise was attributable to young male refugees.
Negative impacts of migration have been shown, for example, in Cologne during New Year’s Eve 2015, when Germany saw mass molestation of women almost exclusively carried out by “Arab or North African origin”, according to the BBC.
Despite the Green Party’s controversial position on refugees, Germans have a growing interest in environmental positions and many of the other left-wing proposals offered by the party. As a result, many in the German media are speculating whether the next chancellor might actually end up coming from the Green Party.
Other European leaders, such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, have made it a priority to stem the flow of refugees entering Europe.
More migrants in Germany could have a negative impact on climate change
It is unclear from the Green Party proposal whether there would ever be any cap on the number of climate refugees allowed to enter the country. Germany currently has a population of around 80 million people, which means it could potentially more than double in size in terms of population if it were to accept a radically large number of refugees.
Germany is already the most densely populated country in all of Europe, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
The Green Party, which is known for its focus on environmental issues, did not address the massive pollution and climate change impact that adding millions from poorer countries to Germany’s already large first-world population would have, especially once the newer migrant population comes to expect the same living standards seen in Germany.
Germany is already a major contributor to CO2 emissions and the government has made it a priority to reduce those emissions over the coming decades. Accepting millions of climate refugees would likely scuttle those plans and put a massive strain on Germany’s infrastructure and government services.