17 Jul Migration and climate change: case studies [infolists]
For millions of people migration is already the only way of adapting to climate change. Droughts, hurricanes, floods and sea level rise are all forcing people to move. In order to gain a more in-depth understanding of climate migration and its causes, case studies of six regions were prepared, which are already very strongly affected by climate change and whose inhabitants have already been forced to migrate due to its consequences. The regions represented are: Bolivia, Myanmar and Bangladesh, Pacific region, Palestine, Sahel and Uganda.
People are already on the move as a way of coping with climate change and the fact, that climate change is significantly altering patterns of migration, was also confirmed in the new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Despite this in many cases of international climate migration, more often than not, climate change remains a hidden (or ignored) element, especially in multistage migration from rural areas into cities where people can stay longer at first, before moving across borders. When they eventually move, they are usually seen as “voluntary” economic migrants instead of climate refugees.
In order to gain a more in-depth understanding of climate migration and its causes, case study examples of regions that are currently heavily affected by climate change were prepared:
For each of the regions, the case study example looks into:
- Climate change impacts in the region
- Climate change projections for the region
- Key climate impacts in the region
- Climate change and forced migration in the country/ region
- Personal testimonials of inhabitants of presented region (in the text or video form)
Although historical responsibility for climate change lies with wealthy people, countries and continents, climate change disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable and marginalized people. Furthermore, it should be emphasized that the majority of climate refugees come from the countries of so-called Global South (countries of sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America) and from low-lying islands (Tuvalu, Kiribati, Maldives… which may become uninhabitable by 2100), which contribute disproportionately less to the climate crisis. Africa, for example, is thus one of the continents most affected by climate change, with the entire African continent currently producing less than 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions and contributing just 3% to total historical emissions. Read more about this in the PR statement that was sent on the World Refugee Day (in Slovene language) here.
 For example, as drought hits agricultural areas, people move into nearby cities to find other work (they have migrated, but not far).