A World Bank report released Monday suggests climate change could force 216 million people across six regions to migrate within their countries in the next 30 years, with “hotspots” emerging within the next nine years unless urgent steps are taken.
The “Groundswell Part 2” report examines how climate change is a powerful driver of migration within a nation because of its impact on people’s livelihoods through droughts, rising sea levels, crop failures and other climate-related conditions.
The original Groundswell climate report was published in 2018 and detailed projections and analysis for three world regions: sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America. “Groundswell 2” conducted similar studies on East Asia and the Pacific, North Africa, and eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Both studies established different scenarios to explore potential future outcomes and identify internal climate in- and out- migration hotspots in each region — that is, the areas from which people are expected to move, and the areas to which they might go.
The study suggests that by 2050, sub-Saharan Africa could see as many as 86 million internal climate migrants; East Asia and the Pacific, 49 million; South Asia, 40 million; North Africa, 19 million; Latin America, 17 million; and eastern Europe and Central Asia, 5 million.
To slow the factors driving climate migration and avoid these worst-case outcomes, the report recommends a series of steps world leaders can take, including reducing global emissions in line with the goals established by the Paris 2015 climate agreement, and taking steps to better understand the drivers of internal climate migration, so appropriate policies to address them can be developed.
Some information in this report was provided by The Associated Press.