Jan 23, 2019

Climate, conflict and forced migration

by
Guy J. Abel, Michael Brottrager, Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, Raya Muttarak
,
Global Environmental Change
  • Despite the lack of robust empirical evidence, a growing number of media reports attempt to link climate change to the ongoing violent conflicts in Syria and other parts of the world, as well as to the migration crisis in Europe
  • Exploits bilateral data on asylum seeking applications for 157 countries over the period 2006–2015
  • Assesses the determinants of refugee flows using a gravity model which accounts for endogenous selection in order to examine the causal link between climate, conflict and forced migration
  • Results indicate that climatic conditions, by affecting drought severity and the likelihood of armed conflict, played a significant role as an explanatory factor for asylum seeking in the period 2011–2015
  • Finds that the effect of climate on conflict occurrence is particularly relevant for countries in Western Asia in the period 2010–2012 during when many countries were undergoing political transformation