Climate Variability and Irregular Migration to the European Union

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, Durban 2011 (Source: UN Photo/UNFCCC/Jan Golinski)

Amid irrational fears that climate change is going to cause a flood of African migration to Europe, there is no evidence that a drought has ever increased such unauthorized migration. Rather, the incidence of drought has tended to exert a negative, albeit moderate, impact on the size of migration flows, in particular for countries dependent on agriculture. Higher levels of rainfall have also not led to increased levels of unauthorized emigration. In short, international migration is cost-prohibitive, and adverse weather shocks reinforce existing financial barriers to migration.

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Security Topics:  Environment and Security