Farmers harvesting their paddy
Farmers harvesting their paddyWork Bank

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges that the world will face in the next few decades. A new study has found that it is not war or economic problems that will cause migration of people within the countries and across the borders but climate change. The result will create migration hotspots by 2030.

According to the World Bank study titled "Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration" focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America regions that constitute 55 percent of the developing world's population, over 143 million people will be forced to migrate within their own countries by 2050 to escape challenges like water shortage, crop failure, storm surges and rise in the sea level caused by climatic change

Climate migration hotspots to emerge by 2030

The study said that climate migration hotspots (out-migration and in-migration hotspots) will begin to emerge by 2030 due to climate change, and it will deteriorate through 2050 if necessary measures are not taken.

Climate out-migration hotspots will emerge as some places may become uninhabitable a few decades from now, forcing the people to move away from such places. It said Addis Ababa city and northern highlands of Ethiopia could see slower population growth due to water problem and lower crop yields. The population growth in cities like Dhaka in Bangladesh and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania could slow down due to rising sea level and storm surges.

The climate change will also force the people to look out for greener pastures which will create "climate in-migration hotspots", according to the study. It said the areas that are likely to see an increase climate in-migration include "the southern highlands between Bangalore and Chennai in India, the central plateau around Mexico City and Guatemala City, and Nairobi in Kenya."

How to avoid the humanitarian crisis 

As per the study, "planning and early action could help shape these hotspots." It went on to say that a possible humanitarian crisis could be averted through a concerted effort like cut in greenhouse gases, integrate climate migration in development planning, and investment to improve understanding of internal climate migration.

"Without the right planning and support, people migrating from rural areas into cities could be facing new and even more dangerous risks," Kanta Kumari Rigaud, team lead of the report, said in a statement.

"We could see increased tensions and conflict as a result of pressure on scarce resources. But that doesn't have to be the future. While internal climate migration is becoming a reality, it won't be a crisis if we plan for it now," she added.