Myths about Climate-Induced Migration

Several myths have been manufactured regarding population movements and climate change.  The following are some common misconceptions:

“Climate change will force people to mass-migrate to developed countries”. If you believe this statement you have been watching too many end of the world movies. In reality, international migration is an expensive endevour that requires forms of capital and people and is, therefore, very much conditioned by economic status. It account, even today, for a very small proportion of all population movement.

The combination of resource scarcity and population growth will trigger population movements”.

melill borer


There is a say in Spain: better an image than a thousand words.  

The photo shows a common happening at the physical border between Europe and Africa, in the Spanish colonized-territory of Melilla. Today, climate change and the certainty that is human-induced forces us to question and re-evaluate the usefulness of concepts such as resource scarcity and population growth when trying to explain migration patterns. What about resource mismanagement of the world elites?  

The truth is that those experiencing impacts of environmental change may even see their incomes and assets reduced, even enabling them to move from the risk areas. According to the Foresight Report, millions of people will be unable to move away from locations in which they are extremely vulnerable to environmental change. Research shows that, indeed, mobility will increase.  However, most of the population movements induced by climate change are likely to be in the global South, short-distance and short-term, within national boundaries or to nearby countries, including to areas of environmental risk. It is only in the case of small island states where people will be forced across international borders.

 Documents you may like to check:

Foresight Report

Climate Change and Migration in Bangladesh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s