Costs of climate inaction: displacement and distress migration

Migration has been a historic, beneficial and important feature of all communities across South Asia. However, when migration is forced and migrants are asset-less, they are often seen as ʻencroachers’ or ʻoutsiders’, then it’s a matter of humanitarian crisis. Of late, climate change has deepened the severity and frequency of climate related hazards, pushing people to migrate at any cost, and subjecting them to health, housing, education, poverty, gender inequality and other crises. This report delves into how these issues intersect with displacement and distress migration, drawing from participatory research undertaken in five South Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). The report underscores the need for ambitious climate action and a holistic approach to reduce the scale of displacement and distress migration in South Asia. Rich countries have a much larger responsibility to reduce their emissions domestically and provide support to developing countries to scale up adaptation, address climate impacts and transition to greener pathways.