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Climate Change and Migration: How are they linked?

Both climate change and migration are complex and politically sensitive topics. This briefing, a collaboration between the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UK Climate Change and Migration Coalition (UKCCMC), will explore what recent research and policy developments tell us about the linkages between the two issues and how we can respond.

Recent research has reshaped our understanding of the relationship between climate change and the movement of people. It is now clear that climate change may be influencing the movement of people in ways that have not previously been understood.

• People may be using migration as a way of adapting to environmental stress.

• Climate change may also be reducing people’s ability to move, trapping vulnerable populations in high risk areas.

• Climate change is one among many forces that shape patterns of movement, and cannot be considered in isolation.

These new research findings are beginning to shape policy in this arena. However, there is still a need for policy makers and civil society to acknowledge these new insights and build them into their work.

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Jo De Backer
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16 February 2015

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