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Groundswell Report: World Bank

  • 15 Sep 2021
  • 8 min read

Why in News

Recently, the updated Groundswell report released by the World Bank indicated that climate change could force 216 million people across six world regions to move within their countries by 2050.

  • Hotspots of internal climate migration can emerge as early as 2030 and continue to spread and intensify by 2050.

Key Points

  • About the Report:
    • First Groundswell Report: It was published in 2018 and used a robust and novel modeling approach to understand the scale, trajectory, and spatial patterns of future climate migration within countries, with a focus on three regions: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.
    • Second Groundswell Report: It builds on the first report, applying the same approach to three new regions: the Middle East and North Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
    • Significance:
      • The two reports’ combined findings provide, for the first time, a global picture of the potential scale of internal climate migration across the six World Bank regions.
  • Findings:
    • Internal Climate Migrants: As many as 216 million people could be internal climate migrants across the six World Bank regions (by 2050). This represents almost 3% of these regions’ total projected population.
      • Sub-Saharan Africa: 85.7 million internal climate migrants (4.2% of the total population);
      • East Asia and the Pacific: 48.4 million (2.5%);
      • South Asia: 40.5 million (1.8%);
      • North Africa: 19.3 million (9 %);
      • Latin America: 17.1 million (2.6%); and
      • Eastern Europe and Central Asia: 5.1 million (2.3%).
    • Most Vulnerable Region: The scale of internal climate migration will be largest in the poorest and most climate-vulnerable regions.
      • SubSaharan Africa: The most vulnerable region due to desertification, fragile coastlines and the population's dependence on agriculture - would see the most migrants.
      • North Africa: It is predicted to have the largest proportion of climate migrants (9%).
        • This is due to a great extent to severe water scarcity, as well as the impacts of sea-level rise on densely populated coastal areas and in the Nile Delta.
    • South Asia: In South Asia, Bangladesh is particularly affected by flooding and crop failures, accounting for almost half of the predicted climate migrants, with 19.9 million people, including an increasing number of women, moving by 2050.
  • Policy Recommendations:
    • Reduce Emission:
      • Five years after the Paris Agreement, the world is still headed for at least 3°C of warming by 2100.
      • Ambitious action to curb global emissions is critical to reducing the burden of climate change impacts on key resources, livelihood systems, and urban centers that may drive people to migrate in distress.
    • Inclusive and Resilient Development Pathways:
      • Integrating internal climate migration in development planning is critical to address the poverty factors that make people particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts, such as a lack of viable livelihood options and lower quality assets.
    • Plan for Each Phase of Migration: Planning for internal climate migration means accounting for all phases of migration - before, during, and after moving.
      • Before migration, adapt-in-place solutions can help communities stay in place where local adaptation options are viable and sensible.
      • During migration, policies and investments can enable mobility for people who need to move away from unavoidable climate risks.
      • After migration, planning can ensure that both sending and receiving areas are well equipped to meet the needs and aspirations of their populations.
    • Investments: More investments are needed in research at scale, including new, more granular data sources and differentiated climate change impacts, to better contextualize and understand internal climate migration at the regional and country level.
Global Efforts to Address Climate Change and Migration Challenges
Cancun Adaptation Framework (2010)
  • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) formally incorporates mobility in the context of climate change in the 2010 Cancun Adaptation Framework, calling on countries for “measures to enhance understanding, coordination and cooperation with regard to climate induced displacement, migration, and planned relocation,” while “taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities”.
UNFCCC Task Force on Displacement (2013)
  • The UNFCCC Task Force on Displacement, established under the Warsaw Mechanism.
  • The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage focuses on preparing for and addressing loss and damage from both sudden- and slow onset climate change impacts, including effects on mobility.
Paris Agreement (2015)
  • The Preamble of the Paris Agreement states that the “Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on migrants”.
Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-30)
  • The Sendai Framework outlines targets and priorities for action to prevent and reduce disaster risks, including through governance, investment in disaster reduction for resilience, and disaster preparedness, recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.
  • It articulates the need to include migrants in disaster risk reduction and management in three places.
UN Global Compact on Refugees (2016)
UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (2018)
  • Recognizes the need to strengthen joint analysis and sharing of information to better map, understand, predict, and address migration movements, such as those that may result from sudden-onset and slow-onset natural disasters and the adverse effects of climate change, as well as develop adaptation and resilience strategies, taking into account the potential implications on migration.
UNFCCC 24th Conference of Parties Decision (2018)
  • The COP24 Decision, informed by a report from the UNFCCC Task Force on Displacement, invites UNFCCC parties to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility in the context of climate change, by considering the needs of migrants and displaced persons, communities of origin, transit and destination, and by enhancing opportunities for regular migration pathways, including through labor mobility.

Source: DTE

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