Climate Change and Environment
Climate change will cause mass internal migration
The worsening impacts of climate change could see over 140 million people move within their countries’ borders by 2050, a new World Bank report has found.
The report, Groundswell – Preparing for Internal Climate Migration, is the first and most comprehensive study of its kind to focus on the nexus between slow-onset climate change impacts, internal migration patterns and development.
The study warns of “a looming human crisis” in three developing regions of the world: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. It predicts that climate change will create “hotspots” where people will pour into already crowded slums.
It says that unless urgent climate and development action is taken globally and nationally, these three regions together could be dealing with tens of millions of internal climate migrants by 2050.
These internal migrants will be “forced to move from increasingly non-viable areas of their countries due to
growing problems like water scarcity, crop failure, sea-level rise and storm surges”.
World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva says there is a “small window now before the effects of climate change deepen, to prepare the ground for this new reality”.
She says with concerted action – including global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and robust development planning at the country level – the worst-case scenario of over 140 million could be dramatically reduced by as much as 80 per cent, or more than 100 million people.