Climate refugees: 17 million people in Latin America could be forced to migrate by 2050 | Nature

The World Bank has published a worrying warning about the effects of climate change on the lives of human beings for the next few years: 216 million people in six regions of the world, including the Latin America, may be forced to move from their countries by 2050 to escape adverse weather events.

According to the report “Groundswell”, published on Monday (13) by the World Bank, people will be forced to move from their regions mainly because of:

  • Water shortage
  • Decrease in productivity in the field as a whole
  • Very high temperatures (thermal stress)
  • Sea level rise, which will lead to land loss
  • Extreme weather events such as storms

Floods, Snow and Extreme Heat: How Climate Change Affects the Planet

Floods, Snow and Extreme Heat: How Climate Change Affects the Planet

The most affected region should be the Sub-Saharan Africa, concentrating almost 40% of climate migrants (86 million) over the next three decades. Next appears the East Asia and Pacific, with 22.6% (49 million) of future migrations of the type.

Latin America is also classified as an alert area, from which they should leave 17 million climate migrants by 2050, more than 7% of the total for the period. Other populations that are likely to suffer from climate change are in the South Asia, Central Asia, North Africa and Eastern Europe.

Migration due to climate change in the world, according to the World Bank — Photo: Arte/G1

The World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development, Juergen Voegele, points out that those most affected by climate change are already and will continue to be the poorest in the world, precisely “those who contribute least to its causes”.

However, he remembers that the effects of global warming are felt by everyone.

“The impacts of climate change are increasingly visible. We have just experienced the warmest decade on record and we are seeing extreme weather events around the world, with changes in the Earth’s climate occurring in all regions,” says Voegele.

Two men watch rough seas as winds from Hurricane Hanna arrive in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Saturday (25) — Photo: AP Photo/Eric Gay

In August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report stated that human-caused climate change is irrefutable, irreversible and has led to a 1.07°C rise in the planet’s temperature, affecting all subs. -regions of the world. One of the warnings says that human influence has increased the chance of extreme events since 1950 and that includes the frequency of occurrence of heat waves, droughts on a global scale, incidence of fire and floods.

The World Bank’s previous report on climate refugees, published in 2018, already highlighted Latin America as a hotspot for environmental refugees.

“Three years ago, the first Groundswell report projected that, by 2050, climate change could lead 143 million people in three regions of the world (South Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa) to migrate within their own countries,” he recalled Voegele.

Residents remove debris from their homes destroyed by Hurricane Iota in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, on October 17, 2020 — Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report also identified Latin America as an area of ​​concern for climate change in the coming decades. Among the projections for South America are:

  • Growth in the duration of droughts in Northeast Brazil;
  • Reduction in rainfall in Northeastern South America (Northeast Brazil) and Southwestern region (Chile and southern Peru).
  • Growth of drought, aridity and/or fires in southern Brazilian Amazonia and part of the Midwest.
  • Number of days with maximum temperatures above 35°C in the Amazon will increase by at least 60 days per year until the end of the century (which could go beyond 150 days in a more extreme scenario);
  • Change in the monsoon regime in southern Brazilian Amazonia and in part of the Midwest, with delay in torrential rains;

Impact of changes in South America: IPCC projections — Photo: Editoria de Arte/G1

Despite the warnings, the document concludes that if countries around the world take immediate action to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, support sustainable development and restore their ecosystems, the factors driving climate migration can be reduced by up to 80%. That is, climate migration could be reduced to 44 million people by 2050.

In 2018, the World Bank announced an investment of US$ 200 billion (about R$ 773 billion at the time) to “support countries to take ambitious climate actions”, such as early warning systems on weather events and climate information services to improve prepare 250 million people in 30 developing countries, in addition to smart agriculture investments in 20 nations. The money must be invested between 2021 and 2025.

Another half of the World Bank’s investment announced in 2018 should go to “build better adapted homes, schools and infrastructure, and invest in smart agriculture, sustainable water management and social safety nets”.