Rising seas levels, extreme temperatures and natural disasters are consequences of climate change that are influencing temporary and permenant migration. Many climate migrants follow labor migrant routes, looking to support their families after their land becomes unworkable or uninhabitable. Victims of sudden climate disasters will often migrate short distances within a country, with up to 90 percent returning to their homes within two years. Chronic, long-term effects of climate change, such as extreme temperatures or rising sea levels, provoke workers, particularly subsistance farmers, to permentantly resettle. Individuals and communities with high vulnerability and low resilience are the most likley to migrate. As both climate change and vulnerability are exacerbated by human activity, policies should be developed to guide preperations and relief aid to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience of at-risk communities.
Example: Subsistance farmers will migrate if their land ceases to be fertile, such as during a drought. Micro-loans can be provided to subsistence farmers to diversify or strengthen their assets, allowing them to survive poor seasons or climate events and not be forced to move for survival. Micro-loans could be used to develop irrigation infrastructure, grow new crops, expand to raising livestock or develop skills for a career outside substistance farming.
Example: Relief aid can be complicated and difficult to disperse fairly. Having climate- or farm-related insurance can develop avenues for distributing aid before a disaster comes to a head. Having insurance also creates a space for insurees to develop disaster plans and strategies before the point of crisis.
Climate change and migration
How Climate Change is Behind the Surge of Migrants to Europe
Migration and Climate Change
Are they migrants or refugees?
After Paris, What’s the Status of “Environmental Refugees?”
A Word of Caution on Climate Change and “Refugees”
NPR's Planet Money: Insurance for Substinance Farming
Why climate change disproportionately affects women and female migrants
Disaster and gender statistics
Don't call them 'refugees': why climate-change victims need a different label
Gender And The Climate Change Agenda
Notes on the World Bank's Climate Migration study: