Migration linked to climate change—often presented as a devastating picture of the plight and flight of vulnerable Africans—is becoming a daily feature on the 24-hour news. While these graphic images are worth a thousand words, they are far removed from the complexity of the factors at play. The narrative often precludes a focus on long-lasting sustainable solutions.

The scale and trajectory of climate-induced migration means that policymakers cannot address one crisis at a time, in an ex-post fashion. Rather, we need bold, transformative, and foresighted action on two critical fronts.

  • First and foremost, fulfilling the global responsibility to cut greenhouse gas emissions is critical to reducing the scale and reach of climate impacts on water availability, crop and ecosystem productivity, sea-level rise and storm surges, and labor productivity—all of which can trigger migration decision-making.
  • Second, policymakers can usher the economies of affected countries towards green and resilient pathways by pursuing far-sighted action to avert distress-driven migration and harness climate-induced migration to foster economic and demographic transitions. Such policies require investments in human capital to support the next generation in productive and sustainable climate-smart jobs.

Read the full article about climate migration by Simeon K. Ehui and Kanta Kumari Rigaud at Brookings.