Climate Change, Migration and Adaptation




Martin, S. F.


Climate Change, Migration and Adaptation




In the Copenhagen Accords, adopted in December 2009, the international community agreed on the need for enhanced action and international cooperation on adaptation strategies to reduce vulnerability and build resilience in developing countries to meet the challenges of climate change. This paper argues that attention needs to be given to both sides of the environment and migration nexus in adaptation strategies:
(1) Identifying adaptation strategies that allow people to remain where they currently live and work; and
(2) Identifying resettlement strategies that protect people’s lives and livelihoods when they are unable to remain. Since internal migration is the most likely outcome for those affected by climate change and other environmental hazards, highest priority should be given to policies and programs aimed at managing these issues within the most affected countries. Nevertheless, some international migration may well be needed, particularly for the citizens of island nations, necessitating identification of appropriate admissions policies in potential destination countries.


Martin, S. F. (2010). Climate Change, Migration and Adaptation. Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration, The German Marshall Fund of the United States