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Making Migration Safe for Climate Nexus

Population pressure, a lack of economic opportunities, environmental degradation, and new forms of travel are contributing to human displacement and unsafe migration on an unprecedented scale. And as millions more people see climate change erode their livelihoods, the problem will get worse in the absence of visionary global leadership.

NEW YORK – Humanity is on the move. We are living in an era of unprecedented mobility of ideas, money, and, increasingly, people.

The sheer size of the human population, combined with how we consume resources, is profoundly reshaping our world. While our “take-make-dispose” economic model has created wealth for hundreds of millions of people in many countries, reducing global poverty significantly, it has also left too many behind. Crucially, it exposes future generations to immense social, economic, and environmental risks. And perhaps the most important risk stems from filling the atmosphere with greenhouse gases at a rate higher than at any time in the last 66 million years.

One billion people alive today are migrants, having moved within or beyond their national borders. They have done so for a variety of complex reasons, including population pressure, a lack of economic opportunities, environmental degradation, and new forms of travel. Combined, these factors are contributing to human displacement and unsafe migration on an unprecedented scale. And the levels of both will only rise as the effects of climate change gradually erode millions of people’s livelihoods.

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