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Project News: ICMPD’s Policy Unit co-authors new study offering recommendations to European Parliament on strengthening response to environmental migration and displacement

2 September 2020


Climate change and migration are both topics at the forefront of European political and societal debates. At a time when the nexus of the two issues is increasingly visible in international discussions and initiatives, ICMPD is analysing the ways in which they intersect.

A new report, Climate Change and Migration, prepared by the ICMPD’s Policy Unit in cooperation with the Department for Migration and Globalization at Danube University Krems, examines global legal and policy responses to environmental migration and displacement. The study has been commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE Committee) and offers recommendations on ways in which the European Parliament and other stakeholders can better address protection needs arising in the context of environmental migration and displacement in Europe and beyond. It is based on a review of academic literature and select policy documents and jurisprudence, as well as a survey of policymakers in select European Union Member States.

As the literature shows, environmental change has a complex impact on migration: Environmental change interacts with and is mediated by other drivers of migration, and can spur mobility as well as immobility. Understanding the ways in which the two interact becomes increasingly important, as climate change is expected to increase both the likelihood and intensity of natural hazards, which in turn will impact drivers of migration.

The authors conclude that “Solutions for environmental migration and displacement must acknowledge the diversity of environmental drivers, including their scope, intensity and duration, as each may involve different needs and frameworks with which to respond. This calls for a multi-sectoral approach that addresses both root causes and consequences of the nexus between environmental change, on the one hand, and migration and displacement, on the other.”

Following a 2011 study for the LIBE Committee on migration and climate change, this current study re-examines the issue in light of increased interest and momentum in responding to this nexus.

Read the full report here.