The Climate Migration Crisis and Refugees
Updated: Mar 2
The greatest challenge of our generation is anticipated to be climate-related displacement and migration. There is an overwhelming agreement that global warming affects everyone, but we often underestimate its role in the future of human migration. Developing countries and fragile regions are disproportionately affected by climate change. The shift will likely involve the poorest people from the poorest countries moving in large numbers from rural regions to increasingly overburdened urban areas. Without prior planning, such dramatic swells of migration could lead to major disruption and instability.
Why You Should Care
Climate-induced relocation is becoming increasingly common. In December 2018, 16.1 million people were displaced as a result of desertification, rising sea levels, and adverse weather causes. It is estimated that by 2050, between 150 to 200 million people will be at risk of being forced to leave their homes.
In 2017, 68.5 million people, more than at any other time in human history, were forcibly displaced. About a third of these (22.5 million to 24 million individuals) were made to evacuate because of the "sudden onset" of weather disasters, flooding, and forest fires after droughts, and intensified hurricanes.
Global warming threatens the livelihoods of individuals to such a degree that sometimes people have to flee their homes temporarily or indefinitely, thus becoming climate refugees.