World Bank Presents Three Scenarios for “Groundswell” of Internal Climate Migration
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner
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A World Bank report presents three potential climate and development scenarios: pessimistic, more inclusive development, and more climate friendly.

The authors report that over 143 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America could be forced to move by 2050 to escape the impacts of climate change.

19 March 2018: The World Bank has released a report predicting that over 143 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America could be forced to move within their countries by 2050 to escape the impacts of climate change, if concrete climate and development action is not taken. The report argues that migration can be a sensible climate change adaptation strategy “if managed carefully and supported by good development policies and targeted investments.”

The report titled, ‘Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration,’ finds that migrants will move from areas with lower water availability and crop productivity and areas affected by rising sea level and storm surges, which will have implications for infrastructure and social support systems.

The report presents three potential scenarios: a “pessimistic” scenario based on high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and unequal development pathways; a “more inclusive development” scenario in which GHG emissions are similarly high but development pathways improve; and a “more climate friendly” pathway that reflects predictions based on lower global emissions and unequal development. The number of internal climate migrants are the lowest under the latter scenario, with estimates ranging from 31 million to 72 million across the three regions.

The report recommends: reducing GHG emissions immediately; embedding climate migration in development planning; and investing in better contextualizing and understanding of climate migration. [Publication: Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration]

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