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Climate Impacts

Research paper: Climate-induced migration is not a route to greater climate concern

14 May 2023

A paper by researchers in the USA has tested narratives about climate change and migration. They found that:

…reading about climate-induced immigration (vs. immigration not linked to climate change) did not change participants’ climate concerns or climate policy support. Instead, reading about climate-induced immigration resulted in more negative attitudes toward immigrants.

The research matches similar findings across the UK and Europe showing that attitudes towards migration can’t be used as a ‘tool’ to boost climate concern (and many argue on ethical grounds that the link shouldn’t be ‘weaponised’ in this way). At best they have no impact on climate policy support, and at worst, they can backfire by increasing anti-immigration sentiment.

The latest from the Climate Impacts timeline:

From the Climate Community 28th November 2023

National Trust report: A Resilience Bill could put adaptation on the same footing as mitigation

The National Trust – with a huge portfolio of land and historic properties that faces a wide range of risks from a changing climate – has released a report which includes a call for a new Climate Resilience Bill, putting adaptation on the same footing as mitigation (which they argue has a ‘unifying focus’ on net zero).

Research shows that people beyond specialist circles do not make a clear distinction between mitigation and adaptation, and see worsening climate impacts as one of the most motivating reasons for decarbonising faster. When asked directly whether the UK government should prioritise adaptation or mitigation, the most popular answer (around half of the survey respondents) in a 2020 poll was that both should be of equal focus.

  • Author: National Trust
  • Date: 7th November 2023
Climate Barometer Tracker 19th October 2023

Tracker data: What climate impacts are the public concerned about?

In terms of the impacts of extreme weather and climate change-related effects, the public is primarily concerned about: harm towards nature and wildlife, suffering and hardship for the world’s poorest, that their bills and costs may rise, and that some food will become unavailable.

The public tend to see less connection between extreme weather and climate change and the effect on their physical and mental health, or ability to spend time outdoors or travel. Only 12% said they were worried climate change and extreme weather would lead to damage to their home.

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