Climate Change Could Force 216 Million People to Migrate by 2050

By Korir Isaac / Published September 14, 2021 | 11:06 am




KEY POINTS

Immediate and concerted action to reduce global emissions, and support green, inclusive, and resilient development, could reduce the scale of climate migration by as much as 80 percent.


Climate Change

The World Bank’s updated Groundswell report released on September 13 has found that climate change could force 216 million people across six world regions to move within their countries by 2050.

Hotspots of internal climate migration could emerge as early as 2030 and continue to spread and intensify by 2050.

The report also finds that immediate and concerted action to reduce global emissions, and support green, inclusive, and resilient development, could reduce the scale of climate migration by as much as 80 percent.

Climate change is a powerful driver of internal migration because of its impacts on people’s livelihoods and loss of livability in highly exposed locations.

By 2050, Sub-Saharan Africa could see as many as 86 million internal climate migrants; East Asia and the Pacific, 49 million; South Asia, 40 million; North Africa, 19 million; Latin America, 17 million; and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 5 million.

ALSO READ: African Remittances to Decrease 5.4pc Following COVID-19 Effects

“The Groundswell report is a stark reminder of the human toll of climate change, particularly on the world’s poorest—those who are contributing the least to its causes. It also clearly lays out a path for countries to address some of the key factors that are causing climate-driven migration,” said Juergen Voegele, Vice President of Sustainable Development, World Bank. 

“All these issues are fundamentally connected which is why our support to countries is positioned to deliver on climate and development objectives together while building a more sustainable, safe, and resilient future,” he added.

The updated report includes projections and analysis for three regions: East Asia and the Pacific, North Africa, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

It builds on the novel and pioneering modeling approach of the previous World Bank Groundswell report from 2018, which covered Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.

By deploying a scenario-based approach, the report explores potential future outcomes, which can help decision-makers plan ahead.

The approach allows for the identification of internal climate in- and out-migration hotspots, namely the areas from which people are expected to move due to increasing water scarcity, declining crop productivity, and sea-level rise, and urban and rural areas with better conditions to build new livelihoods.

The report provides a series of policy recommendations that can help slow the factors driving climate migration and prepare for expected migration flows, including reducing global emissions and making every effort to meet the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.

Another way is by embedding internal climate migration in far-sighted green, resilient, and inclusive development planning.

Furthermore, preparing for each phase of migration, so that internal climate migration as an adaptation strategy can result in positive development outcomes. The same goes for investing in a better understanding of the drivers of internal climate migration to inform well-targeted policies.





About Korir Isaac

A creative, tenacious, and passionate journalist with impeccable ethics and a nose for anticipated and spontaneous news. He may not say it, but he sure can make one hell of a story.

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