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Environment Migration

Climate-driven Migration in Africa

Image courtesy of Vandy Massey/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This article was originally published by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) on 20 December 2017.

The total absence of European policies to address climate-driven migration from Africa is deeply concerning.

Europe is underestimating the primary cause of migration from sub-Saharan Africa: climate change. Environmental changes have a particularly pronounced impact on migration from Africa for at least four reasons: the continent is highly dependent on natural resources and agriculture, which are the first assets to be undermined by climate change; it has poor infrastructure, such as flood defences; its states are often characterized by weak institutions, which are less able to adapt to climate change; and its high poverty rate undermines the resilience of local populations to climate shocks.