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Exploring the Climate Change, Migration and Conflict Nexus

Burrows, Kate; Kinney, Patrick L.

The potential link between climate change, migration, and conflict has been widely discussed and is increasingly viewed by policy makers as a security issue. However, considerable uncertainty remains regarding the role that climate variability and change play among the many drivers of migration and conflict. The overall objective of this paper is to explore the potential pathways linking climate change, migration and increased risk of conflict. We review the existing literature surrounding this issue and break the problem into two components: the links between climate change and migration, and those between migration and conflict. We found a large range of views regarding the importance of climate change as a driver for increasing rates of migration and subsequently of conflict. We argue that future research should focus not only on the climate-migration-conflict pathway but also work to understand the other pathways by which climate variability and change might exacerbate conflict. We conclude by proposing five questions to help guide future research on the link between climate change, migration, and conflict.

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Published In
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher DOI
https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040443
Volume
13
Issue
4
Pages
1 - 17
Academic Units
Mailman School of Public Health
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