How Will International Migration Policy and Sustainable Development Affect Future Climate-Related Migration?
There are many reasons a person might migrate: conflict, economic opportunity and climate change to name a few. As we learn more about the harmful effects that climate change can have on people’s security and livelihoods, concerns are mounting about what the future may hold for climate-vulnerable populations. Published by The Migration Policy Institute, Robert McLeman’s How Will International Migration Policy and Sustainable Development Affect Future Climate-Related Migration? seeks to predict future scenarios given current climate trends, development trajectories and migration policies. The report posits that migration can be either adaptive or maladaptive, i.e. migration may enhance human capacity to survive climate change and build resilience, or it may impede progress toward sustainable development and survival. The outcome is largely determined by the type of migration policy (open versus closed) and the level of global commitment to sustainable development. In each of the three migration scenarios discussed in the report, migration due to climate change will certainly increase. However, taking meaningful steps toward meeting the guidelines of the 2018 Global Compact for Migration could reduce forced migration and enhance the adaptive capability among affected migrants. The author argues that sustainable development and migration policies can effectively be aligned to enhance the well-being of both origin and destination countries, and the livelihoods of all people. (Katelin Reger for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
McLeman, R. (2020, December). How Will International Migration Policy and Sustainable Development Affect Future Climate-Related Migration? Migration Policy Institute. https://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/international-migration-policy-development-climate