As per a report by the World Bank, climate change could push more than 200 million people to leave their homes in the next three decades and create migration hot spots unless urgent action is taken to reduce global emissions and bridge the development gap.
The report highlights the impact of climate change, which will slowly lead to water scarcity, decreasing crop productivity and rising sea levels. This could lead to millions migrating by 2050.
“Globally we know that three out of four people that move stay within countries,” said Dr. Kanta Kumari Rigaud, a lead environmental specialist at the World Bank and co-author of the report.
Even though the influence of climate change on migration is not new, it is a part of a combination of factors pushing people to move, and acts as a threat multiplier.
People affected by conflicts and inequality are also more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as they have limited means to adapt.
“This is our humanitarian reality right now and we are concerned this is going to be even worse, where vulnerability is more acute,” said Prof. Maarten van Aalst, director of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, who wasn’t involved with the report.
The report also warns that migration hot spots could appear within the next decade and intensify by 2050.
Planning is needed both in the areas where people will move to, and in the areas they leave to help those who remain.