E.g., 07/31/2021
E.g., 07/31/2021
Climate Change

Climate Change

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Climate change is a new driver of human migration that many people expect will dwarf all others in its impact. While the effects of climate change on migration have generated significant attention, some of the most commonly repeated predictions of the numbers of people who will be displaced are not informed by an understanding of migration dynamics. Displacement is almost always a result of a complex mix of factors; people adapt to changes and governments (and a few other powerful actors) can influence what kind of movements take place in response to environmental changes.

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coverthumb_global compacts migration refugees
Policy Briefs
December 2020
By  Lena Kainz, Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Kathleen Newland
Cover IOM BriefNo8 ClimateChange 2014
Policy Briefs
March 2014
By  Rabab Fatima, Anita Jawadurovna Wadud and Sabira Coelho
Cover HLD Newland
Policy Briefs
October 2013
By  Kathleen Newland
Cover HLD Martin
Policy Briefs
September 2013
By  Susan Martin
Cover MPIEurope EnviroMigration
Policy Briefs
May 2013
By  Andrew Geddes and Will Somerville

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A boy walks through a coastal village in Honduras.

A disproportionate number of Central American migrants traveling through Mexico to the United States come from Honduras, driven by government corruption, impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and hurricanes that have devastated communities and livelihoods. This article examine the multiple factors behind migration from the country, drawing from interviews with migrants en route.

dry corridor honduras food migration

Climate change has had a devastating impact on many poor Central American farmers, which can contribute to food insecurity and may be prompting migration from the region's Dry Corridor. But the process is not straightforward. As this article explains, most poor farmers rely on a combination of buying, cultivating, and foraging for their food, which makes it difficult to predict how people will react to individual climate events.

thailand flooding climate migration

Migration can help build resilience against the encroaching effects of climate change. Instead of being passive victims of environmental degradation, individuals sometimes move to gain money, knowledge, and skills that can fortify their household of origin. Migrant workers from Thailand demonstrate how and under what conditions this process works.

tanzania_farmer_migration_conflict

Climate-induced migration can lead to tensions and violence between host communities and new arrivals. This conflict can flare up at various levels, including among rural farmers and herders in relatively peaceful countries such as Tanzania.

climate change migration flood

Climate change is affecting human movement now, causing internal displacement and international migration, and will do so in the future. But the impact is often indirect, and rarely is the process as straightforward as one might think. This article provides an overview of research on how climatic hazards drive and affect migration, reviewing which types of people might migrate and under what conditions.

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changing climate changing migration podcast episode 11 tile
Expert Q&A, Audio
April 19, 2021

Technically, people forced to move because of climate disasters are not considered “refugees.” But the UN High Commissioner for Refugees still takes climate issues into account, and since 2020 Andrew Harper has been its special advisor on climate action.

CCCM-ep10-tile-haraldsterly
Expert Q&A, Audio
April 2, 2021

Popular discussions usually frame climate change-induced migration negatively, often as a strategy of last resort. But migrating abroad can also be an effective way to build resilience against the impacts of climate change.

changing climate changing migration podcast episode 9 tile
Expert Q&A, Audio
March 26, 2021

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have left Central America in recent years, and climate extremes have been identified as one of the factors that might be driving this movement, along with elements such as political instability and violence.

cccm-ep8-micinski
Expert Q&A, Audio
March 2, 2021

Climate change and international migration both are global issues with aspects that countries try to manage through treaties, pacts, and other types of agreements. But most of the global governance frameworks that exist for climate-induced migration require only voluntary commitments by states.

cccm-ep7-farbotko
Expert Q&A, Audio
February 19, 2021

Among the earliest examples of the disruptions that climate change can bring, some low-lying island countries in the Pacific Ocean are facing serious threats from rising sea levels and coastal erosion. Over the long term, atoll nations such as Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Marshall Islands might eventually need to relocate some or all of their populations.

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Recent Activity

Articles

A disproportionate number of Central American migrants traveling through Mexico to the United States come from Honduras, driven by government corruption, impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and hurricanes that have devastated communities and livelihoods. This article examine the multiple factors behind migration from the country, drawing from interviews with migrants en route.

Expert Q&A, Audio
April 19, 2021

Technically, people forced to move because of climate disasters are not considered “refugees.” But the UN High Commissioner for Refugees still takes climate issues into account, and since 2020 Andrew Harper has been its special advisor on climate action. We talked with Harper about his agency’s role in responding to climate issues, which regions are most likely to be affected by climate impacts, and why climate is a “vulnerability multiplier” for refugees.

Expert Q&A, Audio
April 2, 2021

Popular discussions usually frame climate change-induced migration negatively, often as a strategy of last resort. But migrating abroad can also be an effective way to build resilience against the impacts of climate change. This episode discusses how migration can bring social, economic, and other benefits to migrants and their communities, in conversation with University of Vienna human geographer Harald Sterly.

Expert Q&A, Audio
March 26, 2021

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have left Central America in recent years, and climate extremes have been identified as one of the factors that might be driving this movement, along with elements such as political instability and violence. In this episode, we hear from geographer and climatologist Diego Pons, of Colorado State University, to dissect how changing climate, food insecurity, and migration intersect in this region.

Expert Q&A, Audio
March 2, 2021

Climate change and international migration both are global issues with aspects that countries try to manage through treaties, pacts, and other types of agreements. But most of the global governance frameworks that exist for climate-induced migration require only voluntary commitments by states. This episode features a discussion with political scientist Nick Micinski, author of the forthcoming books, UN Global Compacts: Governing Migrants and Refugees and Delegating Responsibility: International Cooperation on Migration in the European Union.

Expert Q&A, Audio
February 19, 2021

Among the earliest examples of the disruptions that climate change can bring, some low-lying island countries in the Pacific Ocean are facing serious threats from rising sea levels and coastal erosion. Over the long term, atoll nations such as Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Marshall Islands might eventually need to relocate some or all of their populations. But not everyone wants to migrate, and governments have balanced supporting people who relocate with other ways of adapting to changing conditions.

Articles

Climate change has had a devastating impact on many poor Central American farmers, which can contribute to food insecurity and may be prompting migration from the region's Dry Corridor. But the process is not straightforward. As this article explains, most poor farmers rely on a combination of buying, cultivating, and foraging for their food, which makes it difficult to predict how people will react to individual climate events.

Expert Q&A, Audio
February 5, 2021

Climate change is already affecting how, whether, and where people migrate. But environmental change is likely to become more extreme in the coming decades, unless the world takes serious action now. How might changes made now impact what future migration looks like? This episode features a conversation with Robert McLeman, a geographer and environmental studies expert at Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University, about the possible scenarios that lie ahead for the relationship between climate change and migration, depending on how countries act in the next few decades.

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