Climate migration hotspots to emerge by 2030, many places to become uninhabitable

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The worsening impact of climate change could force more than 143 million people to move within their countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America regions, said a report issued by the World Bank on late Monday.

The report titled Groundswell - Preparing for Internal Climate Migration warns that unless urgent development action is taken, people in these three "hot spots" could be pushed out by lower water availability, decreasing crop productivity, storm surges and rising sea levels. It went on to say that a possible humanitarian crisis could be averted through a concerted effort like cut in greenhouse gases, integrate climate migration in development planning, and investment to improve understanding of internal climate migration.

Climate change has inexorably become an "engine of migration", forcing individuals, families and even whole communities to seek more viable homes, World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva said.

By 2050, 140 million people could be forced to migrate internally as the effects of global warming exacerbate problems like water scarcity, crop failure, rising sea levels and storm surges, according to a new report.

The report said Ethiopia's population could nearly double by 2050 and migration will rise due to diminishing harvests.

The cities of San Francisco and Oakland, California sued Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil Corp, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and BP PLC past year, seeking an abatement fund to help the cities address flooding they say is a result of climate change.

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Bangladesh, a low-lying country where agriculture is vulnerable to floods and salinization, could end up accounting for one third of South Asia's climate migrants. "While internal climate migration is becoming a reality, it won't be a crisis if we plan for it now".

And in Mexico, people increasingly will gravitate towards urban areas away from more vulnerable regions.

"Otherwise, it may add stress on services and resources in those places, the world bank said".

In addition to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the report suggests that governments, particularly in these areas, need to fold in climate migration as part of their development planning, and to study the phenomenon to better understand it.

They applied a multi-dimensional modelling approach to estimate the potential scale of internal climate migration across the three regions.

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