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Climate Change & Migration: taking global commitments a step forward. Recommendations to the UK government on how to facilitate environmental migration.

Climate change is a global challenge that among other things leads to more people being on the move. In recent years, global commitments have paid increasing attention to the links between climate change and mobility. For example, the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) recognises climate change as a driver of migration and the need to strengthen regular pathways, and the recent COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact reaffirms the need to protect migrants’ rights when addressing climate change. Yet there are very few practical examples of how high-income countries can facilitate both regional and international “environmental migration” through regular pathways, upholding migrants’ rights in the process.

What are the challenges of developing policies on environmental migration? What options are available to governments and how ‘easy’ are they to put in practice? Why would high-income countries, such as the UK, want to facilitate migration from climate-vulnerable countries?

These are some of the questions addressed during an online panel discussion that took place on 21st January 2022, starting from the key findings included in two papers recently published by the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the UK, providing practical recommendations on how the UK and other high-income countries could facilitate “environmental migration,” thereby upholding their global commitments.

Blog Post | How Can the UK Better Facilitate Environmental Migration?

The papers by CGD and IOM UK

Paper | Facilitating Environmental Migration through Humanitarian and Labour Pathways: Recommendations for the UK Government

Paper | Strengthening Regional Policy Frameworks to Better Respond to Environmental Migration: Recommendations for the UK Government


The event provided space for discussions of the recommendations included in the papers and how to feasibly take them forward, while also shedding light on firsthand experiences of climate change-related displacement and relocation.

Speakers

  • Tauhid Pasha, IOM UK's Head of Office
  • Helen Dempster, Policy Fellow and Assistant Program Director for Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy at CGD
  • Alex Randall, Programme Lead, Climate Change and Migration at the Climate & Migration Coalition / Climate Change Outreach
  • Lena Brenn,Disaster Displacement Adviser, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Secretariat
  • Kathryn E. Anderson, Deputy Chief (Acting), Office of Policy & Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security
  • Ursula Rakova, Climate Activist for the Carteret Islands
  • Chair: Mariam Traore Chazalnoel, Senior Policy Officer with expertise in Migration, Environment and Climate Change at IOM.

You can watch the recording of the event here.

SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 13 - Climate Action