Dr Quynh Nguyen: the impact of climate change migration and conflict

Dr Quynh Nguyen: the impact of climate change migration and conflict
Image: Bangladesh battles in the frontline against climate change Credit: DFID, www.flickr.com/photos/dfid (used under creative commons license)
Wednesday 24 June 2020

The displacement of people is an important consequence of climate change, as people may choose or be forced to migrate in response to adverse climate conditions or sudden-onset extreme climate events. Existing studies show that there is a consistently higher social acceptance of migrants fleeing political persecution or war than of economic migrants. Here we examine whether individuals in Vietnam and Kenya also extend the notion of deservingness to environmental migrants in the context of internal rural-to-urban migration, using original data from a choice-based conjoint survey experiment. We find that although residents in receiving areas view short-term climate events and long-term climate conditions as legitimate reasons to migrate, they do not see environmental migrants as more deserving than economic migrants. These findings have implications for how practitioners address population movements due to climatic changes, and how scholars study people’s attitudes towards environmental migrants.

Dr Quynh Nguyen explores in this article, published this week in Nature Climate Change, along with Gabriele Spilker, Vally Koubi and Tobias Böhmelt.

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