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26 Oct 2015

MRS No. 42 - Climate change, migration and critical international security considerations

This report reviews the available scholarly reporting on climate change, migration and security and describes the legal and policy challenges facing the international community. While there is indeed considerable evidence that climate does influence migration, future estimates are hampered by a lack of reliable data. Climate-related migration is closely connected to the social, economic, cultural and institutional processes that shape the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of exposed populations. Conflict may potentially emerge in situations of resource scarcity and resource abundance, but in most cases there will be opportunities for intervention before violence occurs. Most climate change-driven migration is likely to occur with countries and regions, although there will be increased international movements along established migrant networks. To avoid large-scale distress migrations, the report outlines priority actions for policymakers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance adaptive capacity in vulnerable regions, and provide assistance to those displaced.

  • List of acronyms
  • Acknowledgements
  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • Forecasts of future climate-related migration
  • How climate affects migration
  • Migration as household adaptation
  • The emergence of climate change-related migration
  • Systems linkages between climate change migration and security
  • Avoiding distress migration through climate policy
  • Managing climate change-related migration when it emerges
  • The worst-case scenario
  • References