SOURCE: New Zealand Herald

DATE: October 11, 2017

SNIP: Climate change is proving a bigger factor in people’s decisions to migrate more than income and political freedom combined, Kiwi researchers say.

An analysis by Otago University economics researcher Dr Dennis Wesselbaum and Victoria University Master’s student Amelia Aburn crunched figures around migration flows between 16 OECD destination and 198 origin countries, including New Zealand, across 35 years.

Their results suggested it to be a more important driver than even income and political freedom put together.

“In combination, the effect of climate change through higher temperatures and an increase in the incidence of disasters is more important than the effects of income and policy at origin [country] together,” they reported.

“In conclusion, our results suggest that climate change is a key driver of migration.”

“Given the overwhelming evidence about the expected adverse effects of climate change in the future, we can expect that it will become an even more important driver of migration in the future,” the authors stated.