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Climate driven migration a rising fear – report

28 February 20240 comments

Europeans are more worried about climate change-driven migration than the threat posed by Russia, according to a new survey.

For Italians, the top three concerns were extreme weather and forest fires, climate change generally and the destruction of natural habitats. Germans were most concerned about mass migration resulting from war or climate change while in France mass migration took second place to climate change generally.

The ‘Munich Security Index’ research report was released at the recent Munich Security Conference, a gathering of top political and defence officials.

The survey questioned 12,000 people in G7 nations as well as Brazil, India, China and South Africa about their perception of 32 different risks.

Outside of the G7, climate change is still the biggest issue. In all countries except for the US, at least one of the three environmental threats included in the index featured in the top three concerns.

“Notwithstanding abounding differences in risk perceptions, citizens around the world continue to share severe concerns about environmental threats,” the report’s authors say.

An accompanying MSC report, titled ‘Lose-Lose?’, also looked at global action on climate issues.

It said that while the increasing alignment of climate, geopolitical and economic goals may help advance green goals, national outlooks risk undermining collaboration.

“As more and more states define their success relative to others, a vicious cycle of relative-gains thinking, prosperity losses, and growing geopolitical tensions threatens to unroll,” the report says.

International competition for innovation could be good for advancement, creating a “race to the top” between China and the US.

But there are risks to progress on net-zero goals if countries choose to weaponise this rivalry over green technology for other political purposes.

International friction on climate subsidies and carbon pricing also has the potential to undermine green leadership.

Overall, the report says, deeper positive cooperation between high and low-income countries is needed to meet global net-zero targets – especially on climate finance and the sourcing of critical minerals for the green transition.