E.g., 04/20/2024
E.g., 04/20/2024
How Will International Migration Policy and Sustainable Development Affect Future Climate-Related Migration?
December 2020

How Will International Migration Policy and Sustainable Development Affect Future Climate-Related Migration?

Extreme-weather events, such as tropical cyclones, floods, droughts, and intense heat, are shaping migration and displacement in countries around the world, and climate change is likely to make events like these more intense and more frequent. The effects of such conditions vary across regions and can spark a range of migration outcomes—both increases and decrease in movement along existing routes, the creation of new routes, and growth in the number of people who may want or need to move but who are unable to do so.

But while the potential of climate change to affect human mobility is widely recognized, estimating future climate-related migration and displacement is made difficult by uncertainty surrounding the future of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and of sustainable development and migration policies.

This Transatlantic Council on Migration report describes the findings of a first-of-its-kind exercise to explore how future climatic conditions under standardized greenhouse gas concentration scenarios may affect climate-related drivers of migration and displacement, and how international development and migration policies may mediate (or exacerbate) migration outcomes. It considers how this may play out in two periods (2020–50 and 2050–2100), and in top source regions for international migration: East and Southeast Asia, South and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Table of Contents 

1  Introduction

2  The Drivers of Climate-Related Migration

3  Estimating the Current Scale of Climate-Related Migration

4  How Climate Change May Shape Future Migration

5  Building Scenarios for Future Climate-Related Migration
A. Future Climate Scenarios
B. Scenarios for Future Socioeconomic Conditions
C. Scenarios for Future International Migration Policy

6  Exploring How Future Climate, Development, and Migration Policy Scenarios May Shape Migration Trends
A. Regional Changes in Climatic Drivers of Migration under RCP Scenarios
B. Mediating Effects of Socioeconomic Development and Migration Policy on Future Climate Migration
C. The Path We Are Currently Taking

7  Conclusion