Brazil will need to resettle those hit by climate disasters, minister says

By Victoria Waldersee

January 18, 2024 at 1:00 PM

By Victoria Waldersee

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Brazil will need to relocate citizens in areas that have been hit repeatedly by storms and other disasters supercharged by climate change, the country's Environment Minister Marina Silva told Reuters in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.

Climate change globally is expected to make certain areas unlivable and drive the migration of hundreds of millions or billions of people by 2050 as they flee from rising sea levels, aridity, floods and other disasters.

Brazil already needs to start planning to move some of its citizens from vulnerable areas, Silva said, speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

"In certain situations we will need to relocate the population," she said.

She pointed to areas of the southern most state of Rio Grande do Sul, where floods have hit repeatedly in the past year and killed dozens.

"In Rio Grande do Sul, we have families that were affected by floods three times in one year. There's no point in rebuilding your house in the same place, or rebuilding that business."

Silva said that the government is working to declare climate emergencies in more than 1,000 municipalities in the country in order to free up funding to help these areas to adapt to climate change.

"(Brazil) is a developing country, it doesn't have the resources to carry out a structured process of adaptation overnight. These are highly expensive, onerous investments."

(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Writing by Jake Spring; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)


Reuters is a news agency owned by Thomson Reuters Corporation. It employs around 2,500 journalists and 600 photojournalists in about 200 locations worldwide. Reuters is one of the largest news agencies in the world.

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