After cyclone Aila hit the coast of Bangladesh in 2009, migration has become the only option for many families whose livelihoods where impaired by the resulting floodings. In this special report, personal stories from Khulna give an insight into how vulnerable populations are affected by climate impacts.
Of the 186 countries assessed in a recent survey of climate vulnerability, Chad was rated most in peril. A combination of high poverty, frequent conflicts, and the risk of both droughts and floods means the central African nation is bottom of the list, just below Bangladesh and some way behind Norway, the country least vulnerable to climate change.
Climate change and environmental degradation are already much stronger drivers of migration flows than many of us may be aware of. This study intends to contribute to a better understanding of the complex relationships between climate change, environmental degradation and migration, and provide insight into current research as well as political initiatives. It also intends to counter some widespread misperceptions.
Resilience is a widely used concept among development, environmental, security and peacebuilding organisations. However, it has rarely been applied together with the concept of environmental security, despite the obvious ways in which the concepts complement each other. These concepts can be jointly applied in the peacebuilding sector. Environmental security sharpens the scope of resilience, while resilience allows for taking issues into account that a traditional environmental security perspective might miss.
There has been a surge in international migration in recent years, reaching a total of 244 million individuals in 2015. Forced displacement has also reached a record high, with 65.3 million individuals displaced worldwide by the end of 2015 – including refugees, IDPs and asylum seekers. Yet while the absolute numbers have increased over the last 15 years, migrants as a percentage of total global population has remained stable at about three percent. A majority of migrants remain on their own continents – nearly nine out of ten African migrants settle on the African continent, while eight out of ten Asian migrants remain in Asia. Forced displacement is predominantly an issue outside wealthy economies:
nine out of ten refugees are hosted by low and middle-income countries.
This working paper by adelphi explores the new research field of city fragility and its links to climate change and migration.
Global governance of displaced and trapped populations, forced migration and refugees is not prepared for the numbers likely to manifest under a changing climate. G20 has responsibility to prepare, push for reform, and initiate annual reviews to enhance a humanitarian response to aid climate mobility.
The authors of this publication are:
Cities are on the sharp end of a range of risks from criminal violence, terrorism and war to demographic pressures, to climate and environmental change. Coastal megacities are especially at risk given the specific impacts of climate change they face, including accelerated global sea-level rise, increased storm frequency and severity, and destruction to critical infrastructure such as port facilities, rail and road linkages, and energy installations, all of which are amplified as urban populations become ever larger.
When international leaders met in the Bangladeshi capital last month for ongoing discussions about a new global migration policy, they glossed over what experts say will soon become a massive driver of migration: climate change.
In December, the leading lights of the climate and security community launched an unprecedented declaration to catalyse action in the field in front of 350 participants at the Planetary Security Conference.