This article discusses climate change and the possibility that it will lead to mass migration and conflict.
This week’s United Nations climate report, drawing on almost 100 leading scientists around the world, keeps climate change in the headlines — as do Hurricanes Florence and Michael, Typhoon Mangkhut, and the heat waves and wildfires in the United States and Europe in 2018.
With the intensified debates on the consequences of climate change comes a renewed concern about climate-change-induced migration. Will the effects of climate change prompt large flows of environmental migrants and, in turn, increase the risk of violence and conflict?
While few, if any, migrants are directly or deliberately associated with conflict, it could occur because newcomers increase competition for jobs, public services and other scarce resources such as housing. The inflow of migrants can also undermine social cohesion, especially when the arrival of migrants upsets an “unstable” ethno-political balance.