Main page content

Climate Change, Migration, and Displacement: The Underestimated Disaster

The risk to humans of being displaced through sudden natural disasters is 60 percent higher today than it was forty years ago. Today an average of 25.4 million people is displaced every year as a consequence of natural disasters. Climate change contributes to the increase in  extreme weather events and weather-related natural disasters, and to the increasing number of people who lose their life support base and are forced to flee their homes and migrate to other places. Climate change and environmental degradation are already much stronger drivers of migration flows than many of us may be aware of.

This study intends to contribute to a better understanding of the complex relationships between climate change, environmental degradation and migration, and provide insight into current research as well as political initiatives. It also intends to counter some widespread misperceptions.

The climatic and environmental factors driving migration are often ignored because it is difficult to isolate them from other motives. Climate and migration researchers therefore attempt to investigate climatic and environmental factors in differentiated ways and to explore and  reveal the many ways in which they are connected to other factors. Climate change and environmental degradation are multipliers of additional problems and crises that lead to displacement and migration. The more differentiated our understanding of complex contexts is, the better governments and society can prepare for these challenges and support the people affected.

Download the report:

Greenpeace_Climate Change, Migration, and Displacement


[This description was extracted from the introduction of the original text.]

The study was commissioned by Greenpeace Germany and authored by Dr. Hildegard Bedarff and Prof. Dr. Cord Jakobeit, two researchers from the University of Hamburg.