UNU-EHS Senior migration expert Dr. Kees van der Geest is part of an author team that published an article in Nature Climate Change today, on how the many myths surrounding climate migration need to be debunked. Van der Geest has seen climate change-related impacts destroy livelihoods and threaten lives first-hand during many of his field research missions to countries like Ghana, Bangladesh, Nepal, or most recently the Marshall Islands in the Pacific, but he argues that the storyline of mass migrations due to climate change is not confirmed by research. He and his co-authors state that the focus on the security aspect of climate migration is intentionally pursued to keep climate migrants in their places of origin and to prevent them from migrating. Van der Geest calls for research to shift its attention from ‘climate migration’ to ‘climate mobilities’, as this captures the movement of people in more neutral and analytical terms – neither making assumptions that mobility is unidirectional or monocausal nor good or bad.
Click here to read the full paper.