Climate Change Migration Bibliography


Annotated bibliography on climate change migration or "climate change refugees".


You can also find an excellent, longer bibliography on climate change and migration at the International Organization for Migration website.

Books and Reports

Hastrup, K., & Olwig, K. F. (2012). Climate change and human mobility: global challenges to the social sciences. Cambridge England; New York: Cambridge University Press.
This book examines emerging patterns of human mobility in relation to climate change, drawing on a multidisciplinary approach, including anthropology and geography. It addresses both larger, general questions and concrete local cases, where the link between climate change and human mobility is manifest and demands attention – empirically, analytically and conceptually. Among the cases explored are both historical and contemporary instances of migration in response to climate change, and together they illustrate the necessity of analyzing new patterns of movement, historic cultural images and regulation practices in the wake of new global processes.

Hugo, G. (2013). Migration and climate change. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.
This book contains a collection of essays that investigate the current and future effects of climate change on migration. Topics covered include the impact of climate change on the movement of people within and across countries, the economic and social effects of the forced displacement and resettlement of migrants, the flows of migration resulting from environmental disasters, the risks of conflict and the implications of climate change for vulnerable areas e.g deltas, atolls and coastal regions. 

McAdam, Jane. (2010). Climate Change and Displacement: Multidisciplinary Perspectives.  Oxford: Hart Publishing.
A collection of essays that look at the phenomenon of climate-induced displacement, and what governments and international organizations will need to consider in developing policies to prepare for an increase in the number of people having to migrate due to climate change.

McLeman, R. A. (2011). Climate change, migration and critical international security considerations. Geneva: IOM International Organization for Migration.
Discusses the ways in which anthropogenic climate change will lead to large- scale population displacement and migration in the coming decades, and the very real possibility of this creating instability and conflict in some of the world’s most vulnerable regions. The report discusses how this migration may occur, and some possible ways to manage security risks.

United Nationals Environment Programe. (2011). Livelihood Security: Climate Change, Migration and Conflict in the Sahel.
This joint study has two objectives: to analyze the historical climate trends in the region, identify hotspots and determine the potential implications for livelihoods which depend on natural resources; and to provide recommendations for improving conflict and migration sensitivity in adaptation planning, investments and policies across the region.

Warner, K., Afifi, T., Kälin, W., Leckie, S., & Nansen Initiative. (2013). Changing Climate, Moving People: Framing Migration, Displacement and Planned Relocation. Bonn: United Nations University.
This is a policy brief that seeks to help distinguish between human migration, displacement, and planned relocation and the present state-of-the-art thinking about some of the key issues related to addressing these in the context of climate policy. It outlines a number of recommendations on ways to protect the rights of individuals who may have to relocate due to climate change.

White, Gregory. (2011) Climate Change and Migration: Security and Borders in a Changing World. New York: Oxford University Press.
Focusing on climate-induced migration from Africa to Europe, the author shows how global warming's impact on international relations has been significant, enhancing the security regimes in not only the advanced economies of the North Atlantic, but in the states that serve as transit points between the most advanced and most desperate nations. Furthermore, he demonstrates that climate change has altered the way the nations involved view their own sovereignty, as tightening or defining borders in both Europe and North Africa leads to an increase of the state's reaches over society. The author argues that a serious and comprehensive program to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change is the only long-term solution.

Journal Articles          

Biermann, Frank, and Ingrid Boas. (2010).  Preparing for a warmer world: Towards a global governance system  to protect climate refugee." Global Environmental Politics. 10(1): 60-88.
Climate change threatens to cause the largest refugee crisis in human history. This situation calls for new governance, and the authors  outline and discuss in this article a blueprint for a global governance architecture for the protection and voluntary resettlement of climate refugees.

Black, R., Bennett, S. R. G., Thomas, S. M., & Beddington, J. R. (2011). Climate change: Migration as adaptation. Nature, 478(7370), 447-449. doi: 10.1038/478477a.
Reports on a study by the United Kingdom’s Foresight report on migration and global environmental change, that found that while changes in the earth’s climate will alter already complex patterns of human mobility, migration will offer opportunities as well as challenges.    

Campbell, J. R. (2014). Climate-Change Migration in the Pacific. The Contemporary Pacific, 26(1), 1-28. 
Discusses the possible migration and relocations outcomes of climate change in the Pacific Islands and territories.

Climate Change and Displacement.” (2008) Forced Migration Review.
This issue of Forced Migration Review includes a number of articles looking at the issue of climate change migration, including human rights implications, the definition of who is considered a “climate refugee” and discussions individuals and communities facing the need to relocate due to climate change.

Dumaine, C., & Mintzer, I. (2015). Confronting Climate Change and Reframing Security. SAIS Review of International Affairs, 35(1), 5-16.
 Scientific consensus has emerged that emissions from economically important human activities worldwide are accelerating the impacts of climate change, with profound consequences for national economies and ecosystems. In recent years, official documents of many governments have acknowledged that environmental changes present security challenges. This paper highlights some of the challenges environmental security poses for traditional security concepts. It concludes that current institutions and policy paradigms are ill-equipped to manage these challenges and explores the potential for reframing the concept of “security” in ways that help decision-makers devise pluralistic and resilient societies.

Drydyk, J. (2013). Development Ethics and the ‘Climate Migrants’. Ethics, Policy & Environment, 16(1), 43-55. doi: 10.1080/21550085.2013.768398.
The author seeks to clarify what is owed to people who are displaced by climate change and finds that they have a distinctive set of moral entitlements, which may include compensation and aid for resilience or resettlement; in addition, they are entitled to be included in decision-making in ways that are empowering.

Ferris, E. (2015). Climate-Induced Resettlement: Environmental Change and the Planned Relocation of Communities. SAIS Review of International Affairs, 35(1), 109-117. 
The 2010 meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognized mobility as a form of adaptation to climate change in the form of migration, displacement, and planned relocations. While considerable work has been done on both migration and displacement, much less is known about how planned relocations will be used to adapt to the effects of climate change. This article examines some of the existing literature on relocations carried out in other contexts, such as development projects and disasters, and stresses the need for clarity of concepts and terminology. The article then illustrates some of the lessons learned from past experiences with relocations and concludes by highlighting present efforts to provide guidance for those who will be faced with planning relocations due to future climate effects.

McMichael, C.  J. Barnett, and A.J. McMichael.  (2012). An Ill Wind? Climate Change, Migration, and Health. Environmental Health Perspectives. 120(5): 646-654. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1104375.
In this review, the authors explore the role that health impacts of climate change may play in population movements and then examine the health implications of three types of movements likely to be induced by climate change: forcible displacement by climate impacts, resettlement schemes, and migration as an adaptive response.

Nawrotzki, R. J. (2014). Climate Migration and Moral Responsibility. Ethics, Policy & Environment: A Journal of Philosophy and Geography, 17(1), 69-87. 
Even though anthropogenic climate change is largely caused by industrialized nations, its burden is distributed unevenly with poor developing countries suffering the most. A common response to livelihood insecurities and destruction is migration. Using Peter Singer's 'historical principle', this paper argues that a morally just evaluation requires taking causality between climate change and migration under consideration. The historical principle is employed to emphasize shortcomings in commonly made philosophical arguments to oppose immigration. The article concludes that none of these arguments is able to override the moral responsibility of industrialized countries to compensate for harms that their actions have caused.

Ödalen, J. (2014). Underwater Self-Determination: Sea-Level Rise and Deterritorialized Small Island States. Ethics, Policy & Environment: A Journal of Philosophy and Geography, 17(2), 225-237. 
This article discusses the situation of a number of small island states that are vulnerable to climate change due to the rise in sea level. This raises important issues concerning state sovereignty and self-determination. Is it possible for a state to remain self-determining even if it lacks a stable population residing on a specific territory?

Sachs, J. D. (2007). Climate Change Refugees. Scientific American, 296(6), 43-43. 
This article explains that the change in the earth's climate induced by humans will make many parts of the world inhabitable, causing mass migration all over the world. It says that the four most vulnerable zones are low-lying coastal settlements, subhumid and arid regions, farm regions dependent on rivers fed by melting snow and humid areas in Southeast Asia. Much of the disruption of these regions will revolve around water: either a shortage of it or a damaging abundance of it.

Kelly Laas. . Climate Change Migration Bibliography. Online Ethics Center. DOI:.