Climate change has many consequences and not curbing it causes significant demographic consequences. So much so that some 216 million people could become internally displaced by 2050 if measures are not taken, according to a report published by the World Bank. Forecasts for all regions indicate that by 2050: Sub-Saharan Africa could have 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.
Internal migration caused by climate impacts is estimated to increase in the coming decades and then accelerate in the second half of the century if countries do not reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to current and future impacts of change. climate. The so-called climate migration “hotspots” will emerge in countries as early as 2030, with migration from places where livelihoods are threatened by climate change and migration to places with better livelihood opportunities.
“Climate change – in particular impacts such as increased water scarcity, decreased crop productivity, and rising sea levels aggravated by storm surges – could force people in distress to emigrate. Climate-related hotspots could emerge in countries as early as 2030 , then continue to intensify and expand, ”explained Kanta Endoud and Viviane Clement, lead authors of the report.
Dangerous areas due to flooding.
Of course, not everything is catastrophizing. “But there is still the opportunity to act. Certainly reducing emissions and ensuring that development is green, resilient and inclusive are essential steps to lower the human cost of climate change,” they comment. They further ensure that countries “can anticipate and prepare for the factors that drive migration, for example by providing support to communities for adaptation, diversifying livelihoods or facilitating mobility when necessary.”
The report asserts that early and concerted implementation of measures to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and ensure inclusive and resilient development is critical and can thus reduce the scale of climate-driven internal migration by up to a 80%. Reducing global emissions could translate into lower impacts of climate change, such as decreased crop productivity, water scarcity and rising sea levels.
The UN also warns
Countries must work together to broaden pathways for legal and safe migration of people forced to leave their countries by environmental degradation , who could be granted humanitarian visas. That is the conclusion drawn by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.
” Humanitarian visas should be considered when adapting (to environmental changes) is no longer possible in the countries of origin,” said the person responsible for monitoring the evolution of human rights in the world. In his opening speech at the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva, Bachelet added that the forced return of the victims of the climate crisis, to places where the environment no longer allows a dignified life, “is not only immoral , but also unsustainable. ”
He argued that in the same way, countries should adopt principles based on human rights when it comes to tackling the problem of internal displacement for climatic reasons. In this sense, the World Bank speaks of “urgency” and sees it necessary for those proposals to be made to unite the needs at the climate level but also with regard to development and migration.