Migration & Development
Reliable access to food—or lack thereof—can affect an individual’s decision to migrate. Climate change has the ability to exacerbate food insecurity, especially for farmers and others who live off the land, which can have repercussions for human mobility.
Billions of dollars are being spent on projects to help communities mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, including those at risk of being displaced by environmental events.
Confronting environmental change, whole communities sometimes relocate from one area to another. This purposeful, coordinated movement, while currently rare, is referred to as managed retreat.
There are a lot of predictions about how many people will migrate in response to climate change. Depending on where you look, the next few decades could see hundreds of millions—or even more than 1 billion—people pick up and move.
The relationship between climate change and migration is long and complex. Human civilizations have been affected by environmental conditions for centuries, but we should be wary of arguments that huge numbers of people are inevitably destined to migrate in response to specific climate threats.