Migration and Climate Change

Public E-team


What the IPPC 2022 report tell us about climate change and migration

On 28 February 2022 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report, highlighting the causes, impacts, and possible solutions to climate change. 

Findings in the report show that: 

1) Migration patterns due to climate change are difficult to project as they depend on patterns of population growth, adaptive capacity of exposed populations, and socioeconomic development andmigration policies (high confidence). In many regions, the frequency and/or severity of floods, extreme storms, and droughts is projected to increase in coming decades, especially under high-emissions scenarios, raising future risk of displacement in the most exposed areas (high confidence). Under all global warming levels, some regions that are presently densely populated will become unsafe or uninhabitable with movement from these regions occurring autonomously or through planned  relocation (high confidence).
2) Future migration and displacement patterns in a changing climate will depend not only on the physical impacts of climate change, but also on future policies and planning at all scales of governance (high confidence).
3) Under an inequality scenario (SSP4) by 2030, the number of people living in extreme poverty  will increase by 122 million from currently around 700 million (medium confidence). Future climate change may increase involuntary displacement, but severe impacts also undermine the capacity of  households to use mobility as a coping strategy, causing high exposure to climate risks, with 35 consequences for basic survival, health and wellbeing (high confidence). 
4) Immobility in the context of climatic risk reflects both vulnerability and lack of agency, but is also a deliberate choice (high confidence). Deliberate or voluntary, immobility represents an assertion of the importance of culture, livelihood and sense of place. Planned relocations by governments of settlements and populations exposed to climatic hazards are not presently commonplace, although the need is expected to grow.