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Those involved in international climate policy often hear about the plight of Pacific Island states in the face of climate change (though, some argue, this has not been met with adequate attention by academic researchers). But in order to avoid becoming desensitized to the concerns of this part of the world, it is important to revisit and reprocess some of the serious dangers these nations face. A new synthesis report from the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, which follows a series of workshops last May, continues to shine a light on the problem, identifying the simple fact that these countries face the worst of both kinds of climate-exacerbated natural disasters: sudden-onset and slow-onset. As the report states: (more…)
by Caitlin Werrell, Francesco Femia, and Troy Sternberg
In the 1990s, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change asserted that “climate migrants” would be one of the most dire consequences of climate change. This, at times contentious argument, centers on how climate change acts as a “threat multiplier,” exacerbating existing environmental and social factors that drive migration. (more…)
In recent years there has been considerable discussion on how climate change, acting as a threat multiplier, could increase migration both within and across borders. The debate, at times contentious, largely centers on how climate change impacts the environmental and social factors that drive migration. This is a critical issue. However, there has been comparatively far less discussion of what we’ll call “climate immobility” – or how populations affected by the impacts of climate change, in addition to other destabilizing factors, may not have the means to move to a less vulnerable location. The dire situation in south-central Somalia, for example, where the insurgent group al-Shabab has restricted the flow of aid and the movement of people suffering from drought and famine, suggests that involuntarily immobile populations may become some of the most vulnerable to climate impacts.