Climate change, migration and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Briefing papers
December 2016
A boy and a woman struggle with the dusty wind looking for water in Wajir, Kenya, 2011. Photo: Jervis Sundays, Kenya Red Cross Society

This briefing looks at the anticipated impacts of climate-induced migration on efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on climate change – SDG13. More specifically, this briefing describes the SDG targets relating to climate change, and the particular challenges to each in the context of increasing climate-induced migration.

Key messages

  • Climate change and disasters are, and will continue to be, major drivers of migration and displacement.
  • The poor are the most vulnerable to climate change. They are likely to live in high-risk areas, have less means to prepare, and lack information to anticipate, and respond to, a disaster. Yet they are also the people who will find it hardest to migrate.
  • National adaptation strategies must help those who are forced, or choose, to migrate as result of climate change. They must inform migrants of risk and build their capacity to cope in new locations.
  • For those who are forced to move internationally, bilateral agreements and international frameworks must protect their rights.
  • Migrants can put additional pressure on infrastructure and services at destination. National policies need to factor in the needs and impact of new climate-induced migrants.