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Climate change, migration and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Emily Wilkinson, Lisa Schipper, Catherine Simonet

Hero image description: A boy and a woman struggle with the dusty wind looking for water in Wajir, Kenya, 2011 Image credit:Jervis Sundays, Kenya Red Cross Society Image license:CC-BY-NC-ND

This briefing looks at the anticipated impacts of climate-induced migration on efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on climate change – SDG13. More specifically, this briefing describes the SDG targets relating to climate change, and the particular challenges to each in the context of increasing climate-induced migration.

Key messages

  • Climate change and disasters are, and will continue to be, major drivers of migration and displacement.
  • The poor are the most vulnerable to climate change. They are likely to live in high-risk areas, have less means to prepare, and lack information to anticipate, and respond to, a disaster. Yet they are also the people who will find it hardest to migrate.
  • National adaptation strategies must help those who are forced, or choose, to migrate as result of climate change. They must inform migrants of risk and build their capacity to cope in new locations.
  • For those who are forced to move internationally, bilateral agreements and international frameworks must protect their rights.
  • Migrants can put additional pressure on infrastructure and services at destination. National policies need to factor in the needs and impact of new climate-induced migrants.

This is the fourth in a series of policy briefings on the relationship between migration and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

A boy and a woman looking for water struggle with the dusty wind in Wajir, Kenya, 2011. Photo: Jervis Sundays, Kenya Red Cross Society
The links between climate change, migration and SDG 13.
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Emily Wilkinson, Lisa Schipper, Catherine Simonet and Zaneta Kubik