New study reveals attitudes towards climate migrants

A new study from an international team of researchers has looked at how residents in Vietnam and Kenya perceive those forced to migrate because of extreme climates.

The research team, including Dr. Quynh Nguyen from The Australian National University (ANU) say climate-induced migration is becoming more common.

“Less developed countries are the most vulnerable to climate change,” Dr. Nguyen said. “We also know most climate change-induced migration—or environmental migration—happens within countries rather than across borders, with people relocating to big cities. This in turn can lead to competition for jobs, put pressure on facilities, and stir existing cultural or ethnic tensions.”

The researchers found short term climate events and long-term climate conditions are seen as legitimate reasons to migrate in both countries.

However, the study also showed climate migrants are seen as no more deserving than economic migrants, according to Dr. Nguyen.

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Jess Fagan, Australian National University