TIME TO ACT - How the EU Can Lead on Climate Change and Migration

Margit Ammer, Monika Mayrhofer, Alex Randall and Jo Salsbury
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, European Union
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The inter-linkages between climate change and migration are complex and at times hard to grasp. Addressing migration in the context of climate change presents new challenges for policy makers at both international and national levels.   

However, the complexity of the challenge should not be used as an excuse for not addressing the issue. There is already ample evidence that environment-related migration and displacement is occurring and that it will increase in the future. Research projects have provided a better understanding of the phenomenon and of corresponding legal and policy gaps.

The time has come to translate research evidence and recommendations into policy practice. The European Union (EU) could act as a leading political force and should begin to develop a holistic policy approach that addresses climate change and migration.

This report debunks some common myths and provides an understanding of key characteristics of migration in the context of climate change. With a focus on EU policies and legal frameworks in the area of migration and asylum, the report presents a series of recommendations in order to proceed towards a coherent EU approach on climate change and migration.

Heinrich Böll Stiftung, European Union