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.
In the early 1990s, Ethiopians who had been living in refugee camps in Sudan began to return home. As Laura C. Hammond of Clark University explains, they created a new community in an unfamiliar part of Ethiopia that is thriving 12 years later.
The impact of climate change as a driver of human migration is expected by many to dwarf all others. Still, certain frequently repeated forecasts of the number of people who stand to be displaced by climate change are not informed by a complete understanding of migration dynamics, as this report explains.