World Bank Forecasts 216 Million Internal Climate Migrants by 2050

A picture taken on October 12, 2017 shows a student drinking water at the fountain of the Public school of Freeman Reserve in the Todee District, about 30 miles north of Monrovia, in Liberia. / AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images

The World Bank has made the remarkably precise prediction of 216 million internal climate migrants by the year 2050, Nigrizia reported Sunday.

Of the six different regions examined, sub-Saharan Africa accounts for the largest portion, Nigrizia noted, with a predicted 86 million people displaced by climate change, or 4.2 percent of the total population.

Percentagewise, North Africa is forecasted to have the highest share of climate migrants, with 19 million displaced people, equivalent to about 9 percent of its population. The migration will be due to increased water scarcity in the northeast of Tunisia, northwestern Algeria, in western and southern Morocco, and the foot of the central Atlas.

In its updated Groundswell report, the World Bank asserted climate change is an “increasingly potent driver of migration” and hotspots of internal climate migration “could emerge as early as 2030 and continue to spread and intensify by 2050.”

The World Bank asserts, “Immediate and concerted action to reduce global emissions, and support green, inclusive, and resilient development, could reduce the scale of climate migration by as much as 80 percent.”

“The Groundswell report is a stark reminder of the human toll of climate change, particularly on the world’s poorest — those who are contributing the least to its causes. It also clearly lays out a path for countries to address some of the key factors that are causing climate-driven migration,” said Juergen Voegele, the World Bank’s Vice President of Sustainable Development.

“All these issues are fundamentally connected which is why our support to countries is positioned to deliver on climate and development objectives together while building a more sustainable, safe and resilient future,” he added.

In its glossary of terms, the Groundswell report defines climate-driven migration as “migration that can be attributed largely to the slow-onset impacts of climate change on livelihoods owing to shifts in water availability and crop productivity, or to factors such as sea-level rise or storm surge.”

The report appears to make no attempt to distinguish between the natural climate evolution and variability that has marked the history of the planet from human-generated climate change.

On the other hand, the report’s insistence that reduced global emissions would radically reduce climate-driven migration suggests that its authors believe that virtually all weather-related migration must somehow be attributable to human causality.

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