The National Rugby League has today unveiled a new ‘Climate Pathways Program’ – in an effort to secure the talent of Pacific Islanders forced to move to Australia and New Zealand as a result of climate change.

Not even two days after the Australian Government finally resolved the issue of detained Asylum Seekers in Nauru, it seems our country is now having to prepare for a new wave of refugees from that same part of the world.

Only this time they aren’t fleeing war and persecution – they are fleeing Mother Nature.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg says he can’t wait to see some of the potential coming out of the catastrophic climate change currently taking place in the Polynesian and Micronesian islands.

“Pacific Islanders have contributed greatly to our game over the year. Personally, I can’t wait to see what this next wave has in store for us”

“Pardon the pun”

The term “Environmental refugee” refers to people who are forced to leave their homes due to sudden or long-term changes to their local environment which compromise their well being or secure livelihood, such changes are held to include increased droughts, desertification, sea level rise, and disruption of weather patterns.

Some of Australia’s closest neighbours look to be on the frontline of this exodus. With countries such as Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu all ear-marked to be completely underwater by 2050.

It is not yet known whether Immigration Minister Peter Dutton will allow the tens of thousands of displaced Pacific Islanders to relocate to Australia, however it is believed that his rugby-league-mad electorate of Dickson will be rallying for him to let them in.



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