Nearly 216 million people could be forced to leave their homes by 2050 because of the climate

There is this Moroccan teenager who abandoned the family farm to work in construction near Rabat because water shortages made farming income uncertain. Or this family who left their rural region in southern Kyrgyzstan because their water source dried up and no longer allowed them to live on pastoralism. These routes are reported in the latest World Bank report entitled “Groundswell” (“Groundswell”), published Monday, September 13. He warns that climate change is an increasingly powerful driver of migration that could force, by 2050, up to 216 million people to migrate within their countries in search of better living conditions .

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“It is important to note that this projection is not fixed, World Bank vice president responsible for sustainable development Juergen Voegele warns in a statement. If countries start now to reduce greenhouse gases, close development gaps, restore vital ecosystems and help people adapt, internal climate migration could be reduced by up to about 80%. . “

This report complements the first of its kind, published in 2018 and focused on three regions of the world: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America. The institution then projected 143 million climate migrants by 2050 for this geographic area. This time, it added three other regions, East Asia and the Pacific, North Africa as well as Eastern Europe and Central Asia..

“Poorest regions”

As in 2018, the authors, with the help of American and German universities, modeled population displacements using three scenarios. In the pessimistic scenario, based on high greenhouse gas emissions and uneven economic development – which the World Bank qualifies as a benchmark – 170 million people on average, and up to 216 million in the upper range, could leave their homes by the middle of the century. This would represent nearly 3% of the total population of these regions. The “more inclusive development” scenario, where the economy is improving, estimates the number of climate-displaced people at 125 million on average, while the “climate-friendly” scenario, with a drop in emissions, evokes 78 million, with a low range at 44 million.

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