The impact on human mobility from climate change has been the subject of increasing discussion in recent years. More than two decades ago, the first assessment report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that the greatest single impact of climate change might be on human migration. The importance of the issue within the climate change discussion was more recently recognized by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun in December 2010.
On October 7, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement hosted a conversation exploring the potential impact of climate change on different forms of human mobility: migration, displacement and planned relocation. Panelists included Chaloka Beyani, co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement and the United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs), Susan Martin from Georgetown University and Robin Mearns from the World Bank.
Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris, co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, panelists took audience questions.
An informal roundtable was held later that day, in which representatives from research groups, government agencies and NGOs discussed possible developments related to the UN’s upcoming Climate Change Conference (COP 17) and the Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), and updated each other on current and planned research activities in the field.