Apr 23, 2024 - Energy & Environment

First Look: Spotlight on climate migration

Illustration of an arrow pointing forward patterned with the Earth's surface

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Climate Migration Council is out with a set of actionable steps to take to address the growing challenge of climate mobility.

Why it matters: Climate change is unleashing a litany of disasters forcing people to relocate, often in stressful and dangerous circumstances.

Zoom in: Launched by the Emerson Collective as part of its climate migration work, the Council itself includes political figures, experts in national security, human rights, law, international aid and more.

  • The new report, provided first to Axios, outlines in detail the need to mitigate emissions, as well as ways to help people who stay in places hit by climate-related disasters and "expand and diversify" pathways for migration.
  • It includes recommendations such as devising partnerships with governments to support those who remain in areas affected by climate disasters.
  • It also suggests improving evacuation and relocation options in the face of slow or sudden-onset disasters.

What they're saying: Predicting climate migration, putting numbers on it and a timetable, is tempting but impossible, Shana Tabak of the Emerson Collective, who directs the Collective's immigration work, said in an interview.

  • "There's no way to really be able to predict how any one particular person in their particular circumstance is going to choose or not choose to move in the context of the way that climate is reshaping their lives," she said.

The bottom line: Complexities aside, Tabak emphasized that it's clear climate migration is increasing, and much more work needs to be done to manage it.

Go deeper