Taking care of humankind at +2°C

Taking care of humankind at +2°C

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Facing the health challenges associated with climate-related migration

Climate change would trigger growing population movements within and across borders, as a result of such factors as increasing intensity of natural disasters, sea-level rise and drought. There are no reliable estimates of climate change induced migration. Future forecasts vary from 25 million to 1 billion environmental migrants by 2050, moving either within their countries or across borders, on a permanent or temporary basis, with 200 million being the most widely cited estimate.

According to the newly released World Bank report “Groundswell – Preparing for Internal Climate Migration”, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America could be dealing with a combined total of over 140 million internal climate migrants by 2050. These people will be pushed out by droughts, failing crops, rising sea levels, and storm surges.

Paradoxically, while climate change will lead many populations to migrate, it will force others to remain immobile, populations that will become trapped in places where they are increasingly vulnerable to climate risks.

The links between climate change and migration, however, are usually far from simple and direct.  Climate-specific factors are often difficult to isolate from other economic, social, and political drivers.

The nexus between climate change, migration, and health is also complex. Adding to this complexity, the health  of migrating populations will be affected at the place of origin, en-route and at destination sites  by climate change itself either directly or indirectly, as mediated through ecological and social systems.

While there is an increasing focus on the adaptive potential of migration, the health impacts of climate-related migration must be better understood.

of environmental migrants according to forecasts by 2050

of climate migrants for sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America by 2050

the most widely cited estimate of environmental migrants by 2050


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