Climate Change, International Relations , Migration Watch Now: From Catastrophe to Cooperation? New Approaches to Climate Migration

March 29, 2022
By Perry World House

The single greatest impact of climate change could be its disruption to how people live and work.

Rising seas, extreme heat, drought, and other severe weather events could force people across the world to leave their homes and livelihoods behind in search of safety. In recent years, policymakers at all levels of governance have become increasingly aware of this urgent issue and begun to shape policy responses. Some progress has been made, but it may not be enough to make a meaningful difference.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Global Compact on safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018, which includes recognition of the need to address those moving or displaced due to climate impacts. Some countries and regions are already examining ways to include mobility in regional movement agreements and national plans for climate adaptation. Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development has explicitly included climate migrants in its Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, and many of the Pacific Islands have engaged in such planning. The White House recently announced plans to establish for establishing a new initiative and policy process on climate change and migration, which may provide opportunities for more U.S. engagement at home and abroad on this topic. However, the IPCC’s recent report provides evidence of the rapid, large-scale and possibly permanent changes in the world’s climate system which are already unfolding.

How can countries work together on the challenges of climate change and migration? How can global institutions respond effectively to a world that is increasingly on the move? What else urgently needs to be done? Join Perry World House experts Michelle Leighton, Koko Warner, and Michael Weisberg for a discussion on these issues and more.

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