Accommodating migration to promote adaptation to climate change

Type

Book

Author(s)

Barnett, J.
Webber, M.

Title

Accommodating migration to promote adaptation to climate change

Year

2005

Publisher

Commission on Climate Change and Development

Abstract

This report explains the ways in which climate change may increase future migration, and the risks associated with such migration. It also examines the way some of the migration that will arise from climate change may enhance the capacity of communities to adapt to climate change.

Climate change is likely to result in some increase above baseline rates of migration in the next 40 years. Most of this migration will take place within developing countries. There is little reason to think that such migration will increase the risk of violent conflict. Not all of the movements in response to climate change will have negative outcomes for the people that move, or the places they come from and go to. Migration is a tried and true development strategy, and it can do much to increase the capacity of communities to adapt to climate change. The fewer choices people have about moving, however, the less likely it is that the outcomes of that movement will be positive. Involuntary resettlement should be a last resort. Many of the most dire risks arising from migration exacerbated by climate change can be avoided through careful policy. This report describes many of the policy responses that can be taken to minimise the risks associated with migration in response to climate change, and to maximise the ways in which migration can increase adaptive capacity. These include: ensuring that migrants have the same rights and opportunities as their host communities; reducing the costs of moving money and people between areas of origin and destination; facilitating mutual understanding among migrants and host communities; clarifying property rights where they are contested; ensuring that efforts to assist migrants include host communities; and strengthening regional and international emergency response systems.

Citation

Barnett, J., Webber, M. (2009). Accommodating migration to promote adaptation to climate change. Stockholm: Commission on Climate Change and Development.