World Bank: Half of all internal migrants could be driven by climate change

The World Bank said 6% of the North Africa population could be displaced by climate change, in its damning Groundswell II report.

The report laid bare the extent of climate migrants if world leaders do not clean up their act.

In three scenarios tested, it was estimated that a total of 13 million climate migrants would exist by 2050 in a worst-case scenario, and climate migrants could outnumber other migrants.

It was projected that ‘out-migrants’ (those leaving the area) were projected to be from places of water scarcity, and the threat of rising sea levels.

Campaigners from Transnational Institute (TNI) have urged world leaders to act upon this revealing report, calling for a reparations agenda that would pay off climate and ecological-related debt.

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Hamza Hamouchene, North Africa Programme Coordinator at TNI, said: “Man-made climate change is already a reality in various places in the Global South, including in North Africa. And it is undermining the socio-economic and ecological basis of life in the region.”

“In the last few years, we’ve seen terrible impacts on working peoples’ livelihoods, including desertification, extended droughts, recurrent heatwaves, and seawater intrusion into fertile lands. The recent catastrophic forest fires in Algeria and Tunisia are yet another example of the unfolding climate chaos. And yet, the responsibility for the climate crisis primarily lies with the industrialised nations of the Global North.”

He continued: “Alongside a reparations agenda that would include paying climate and ecological debts, we would need to shift away from securitising and militarising the issue because this will be done at the expense of the marginalised and impoverished.”

Groundswell II was put together in order to calculate the effects of climate change on six different regions, and overall calculated that 216 million people could become migrants in their own countries by 2050 if the world does not clean up its act.

The report urged that greenhouse gases needed to be slashed and warned that climate migration would have to be integrated into future development planning, as well as preparing for each phase of migration.

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