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Is climate-driven migration a threat to security?

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The need to understand how migration, climate and (in)security interact is becoming increasingly urgent. Climate change will continue to impact human security in the short- to medium-term, with potentially important consequences for human mobility. Over the past decade, for instance, weather-related events displaced 21.5 million people each year, more than twice as many as displacements caused by conflict and violence (UNHCR, 2021). While we must be careful not to over-securitise discourse around migration, ignoring the potential implications of these trends for both human and national security would be equally irresponsible. To give one example, research shows that for every 100,000 people displaced by floods, the probability of conflict incidence rises by approximately 3% (Ghimire, Ferreira and Dorfman, 2015). Given that flooding drove 10 million people globally from their homes in 2019, and 51% of all disaster-induced displacements between 2008 and 2018 were flood-induced, this threat is far from marginal (IDMC, 2019; IDMC, 2020).

Citation

Läderach P, Pacillo G, Schapendonk F, Savelli A. 2021. Is climate induced migration a threat to national security?. Rome Italy: CGAIR FOCUS Climate Security.