IPI HomePublicationsPolicy PapersClimate Change and Conflict: The Migration Link

 

print print  |  share share back back

Policy Papers - May 14, 2007

Climate Change and Conflict: The Migration Link

This publication is part of the CWC Working Paper Series [read more about this publication series]

Nils Petter Gleditsch, Idean Salehyan, and Ragnhild Nordas

 

 

From the Introduction: In this paper, we review the current state of knowledge regarding climate change and violent conflict, paying special attention to the influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. We find that much of the literature is speculative and difficult to substantiate given data constraints.

Indeed, current debates frequently focus on possible scenarios in the future, which are inherently difficult to test, although they should not be discounted. Then, we focus on what we believe to be a plausible link between climate shifts and problems for human security: mass migration. Climate change is likely to be a significant factor leading to mass exodus from increasingly uninhabitable areas, and population shifts stemming directly or indirectly from environmental pressures can place significant burdens on migrant-receiving areas.

However, we emphasize the importance of good governance, local integration capacity, and international agents as mitigating factors, and discuss effective policy responses. We conclude that given the many serious warnings from prominent voices, climate change warrants consideration by the United Nations as a security threat, although not necessarily in the traditional sense of military security.

The Global Observatory

India-US Cooperation Grows With Obama Visit
The visit is particularly important for efforts related to stability and security in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.

Key Global Events to Watch in January
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2015: Ten Multilateral Events to Watch This Year
A list of ten events that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2015, compiled by IPI’s Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

January 20, 2015
Mongolian Foreign Policy Between ''Two Giants''
On January 20, Mongolia’s new Foreign Minister Purevsuren Lundeg visited the IPI Vienna office and gave an informal briefing on Mongolia’s contemporary foreign policy priorities and challenges.

January 20, 2015
Dutch FM Koenders: ''The Security Council Has to Change''
Speaking to an overflow IPI audience on January 20th, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders acknowledged how far the United Nations has come since its inception 70 years ago but said that the organization still “has a lot of growing up to do.”

December 15, 2014
Fathi: Iran and the Struggle Between Hardliners and Reformers
Discussing her new book The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran at IPI on December 15th, author Nazila Fathi said that 35 years after the revolution, Iran is divided between hardliners and a large moderate middle class, but admitted that it is still unclear which of the two sides will gain the upper hand.

View More