A World Bank report published recently states that in the next three decades, climate change might force more than 200 million people to leave their homes and create migration hotspots, unless immediate action is taken to curb global emissions.
A report published by Groundswell glanced at the effects of slow-onset climate change, such as water scarcity, declining crop productivity, and rising sea levels. These effects could result in millions of ‘climate migrants’ by 2050 under three different circumstances with fluctuating climate action and development degrees.
The report projects that under the most severe scenario, up to 216 million people would be migrating within their own countries across six regions including Latin America; North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Eastern Europe and Central Asia; South Asia; East Asia and the Pacific.
Furthermore, the world could witness a migration of 44 million people being pushed to leave their homes even under the most climate-friendly scenario of low emissions and inclusive, sustainable growth.
According to Viviane Wei Chen Clement, a senior climate change specialist at the World Bank and one of the report's authors, the findings solidify the ability of climate to promote migration within countries.
The research disregarded the short-term repercussions of climate change, such as the effects of extreme weather events, as well as cross-border climate migration.
Sub-Saharan Africa would witness the most migrants in the worst-case scenario, with up to 86 million people moving inside country borders due to drought, poor coastlines, and the population's dependency on agriculture.
Furthermore, owing to increased water scarcity in northeastern Tunisia, western and southern Morocco, northwestern Algeria, and the central Atlas foothills, North Africa is expected to have the highest amount of climate migrants, with roughly 9% of the population, or 19 million people moving, according to the report.
The report also states that migration hot spots could become a need within the next decade and intensify by the year 2050.