Water Industry News

Climate Change Could Enforce Migration Of 216 Million People

A new report has suggested that climate change could see 216 million people from six world regions migrate to different areas within their countries by the year 2050 – but immediate action to tackle the climate crisis and support green development could see the scale of climate migration reduced by as much as 80 per cent.


Carried out by the World Bank, the updated Groundswell report suggests that hotspots of internal climate migration could be seen from as early as 2030, spreading and intensifying by 2050.


By then, Sub-Saharan Africa could see up to 86 million internal climate migrants, East Asia and the Pacific 49 million, South Asia 40 million, North Africa 19 million, Latin America 17 million and Eastern Europe and Central Asia five million.


The report also explores possible future outcomes that could help decision-makers plan ahead, allowing for the identification of these migration hotspots based on increasing water scarcity, declining crop productivity, rising sea levels, and urban and rural regions that have better conditions to build new lives.


Policy recommendations include reducing global emissions and striving to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals, preparing for each phase of migration and embedding internal climate migration in green, inclusive and resilient development planning.


It also recommends investing in better understanding of what is driving internal climate migration to inform policies and ensure they’re properly targeted.


Commenting on the findings, vice-president of sustainable development with the World Bank Juergen Voegele said: “The Groundswell report is a stark reminder of the human toll of climate change, particularly on the world’s poorest – those who are contributing the least to its causes. It also clearly lays out a path for countries to address some of the key factors that are causing climate-driven migration.


“All these issues are fundamentally connected which is why our support to countries is positioned to deliver on climate and development objectives together while building a more sustainable, safe and resilient future.”


A separate World Bank report published back in August found that rainfall variability is predicted to be one of the contributing factors in migration, with climate change accelerating the global water crisis.


Experts anticipate that cities around the world that receive migrants and which are currently home to 55 per cent of the global population will experience a rising number of Day Zero events, when the taps stop running.


The Ebb and Flow report is, in fact, the first-ever global assessment of how water will impact migration, finding that water deficits are associated with ten per cent of the increase in total migration inside countries between 1970 and 2000.


It’s also been projected that, by the turn of the century, worsening droughts will affect around 700 million people – so it’s likely that in-country migration will increase in the future.


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