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Climate Security and Migration: An Evaluation for the World and Turkey

The negative consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly evident in environmental, economic, social, and political realms day by day, and no country in the world is exempt from these effects. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports reveal that climate change will be severe, which means that the world can expect more and more conflict. Climate migration and national security problems will emerge due to factors such as natural disasters and resource crises. This article aims to evaluate the relationship between climate change and migration and examine the consequences that may arise in the context of climate security in the world and in Turkey. We conclude that all countries will be affected equally severely, though in different ways, by the risks and consequences that will gradually emerge in the context of climate security in parallel with climate change, and that the number of climate migrants and refugees will increase globally in the coming period. Further, migration to Turkey will not only be from neighboring countries but will increase from wider geography in the future due to Turkey’s geopolitical eminence.

Climate Security and Migration An Evaluation for the World and
Alok Sharma (M), President of COP26, speaks at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 where countries are still wrestling on how to limit global warming to 1.5° compared to pre-industrial times. CHRISTOPH SOEDER / PICTURE ALLIANCE via Getty Images
 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Today, one of the most important issues on the international agenda is climate change. The global average temperature has increased by an average of 1.2 degrees Celsius (oC) since the Industrial Revolution.1 The aim of the Paris Agreement, which was accepted at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), held in 2015 within the scope of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.2 The Paris Agreement recognizes climate change as both an emergency and, in many cases, an irreversible threat to our planet.3 Due to the effects of climate change, heatwaves, drought, and desertification, floods due to excessive precipitation, large forest fires, and storms have increased in number, frequency, and severity. The 5th Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that global inequalities will increase, and new areas of poverty will emerge because of climate change. The report reveals that as disasters increase due to climate change, livelihoods will decrease, water, food, and energy security problems will intensify and instability in these areas will increase.4

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