Beyond Environmental Refuge: How climate change will affect the world’s (human) migration patterns

“Scientists and security agencies warn that hundreds of millions will become environmental refugees in coming decades, forced by climate change to flee their homes and communities in the face of food shortages, water scarcity, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events. Events like these can and do cause people to migrate in search of safety, but the impacts of climate change on global migration patterns will be felt on much larger scales and for more subtle reasons. The number of people who migrate voluntarily to seek job opportunities or to diversify household income sources will skyrocket as households adapt to the impacts of climate change specific to their home region. For those of us living in the potential destinations of these new migrants, the goal is not to prevent them from coming, but to innovate migration programs and policies that benefit sending and receiving areas alike.”

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