A new analysis of environmental threats globally reveals that more than a billion people face the risk of displacement by 2050 as a result of rapid population growth, lack of access to food and an increase in natural disasters.
The Environmental Threat Register uses data from the United Nations and other sources, compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace, to assess eight threats to the environment and predict which countries and regions are most at risk. The Institute for Economics and Peace is a think tank that publishes annual indicators on terrorism and peace.
With the world population expected to increase to about 10 billion by 2050, which would intensify the scramble for resources and fuel conflicts, the research shows that as many as 1.2 billion people live in vulnerable areas in sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East, may be forced To emigrate by 2050.
By comparison, environmental factors and conflict led to the displacement of about 30 million people in 2019, according to the report.
“This will have major social and political implications, not only in the developing world, but also in developed countries, where mass displacement will lead to greater refugee flows to more developed countries,” said Steve Kelly, founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace.
The registry classifies threats into two main categories: food security, water scarcity and population growth in one category, and natural disasters including floods, droughts, hurricanes, rising sea levels and increasing temperatures, in the other category.
The result is an analysis-based assessment of the number of threats each of 150 countries faces, and their capacity to withstand them.
While some, like India and China, are more vulnerable to threats due to water scarcity in the coming decades, others, such as Pakistan, Iran, Mozambique, Kenya and Madagascar, face a dangerous mix of threats, as well as diminished capacity to deal with them.
The 90-page analysis found that “these countries are broadly stable now, but extremely vulnerable to environmental threats and positive peace that is declining and deteriorating, which means that they are more likely to collapse in the future.”