Getting from Here to There: Policy Pathways to Address Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change
In Jim Norwine A World After Climate Change and Culture Shift
The central message of this chapter is that the choices and policy pathways chosen today to frame and manage human mobility in the context of climate change will shape the population shifts and stability of major social-climate interactions in the coming decades and centuries. Empirical evidence is emerging about the interaction of climatic variables today with factors that affect migration decisions: livelihood and food security, personal safety, protection of assets, and expectations about opportunities in the future related to climate change. Climate science is also providing modeling results of future impacts with increasing levels of certainty. Thus a gap is notable between what we are beginning to understand about climate variability and human mobility today and longer-term climate change and population distribution in the future as well as human mobility. This chapter makes a case for actively discussing human mobility in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC ) climate negotiations, and it examines stepping stones like Paragraph 14(f) of the Cancun Adaptation Framework and the Durban Platform. The chapter lays out possible ways forward in terms of initial steps to operationalize some of these nascent policy areas. These policy areas can help contribute to pathway decisions that allow for a smooth(er) transition over time from present climatic variability and human mobility regimes, to population distribution in specific areas of the world in the future as some areas become less habitable or uninhabitable according to current standards.