3 Dec 2015

Study warns of climate migrants from Pacific

1:52 pm on 3 December 2015

A study presented to the UN climate talks in Paris says many people in low-lying Pacific islands will consider migrating if droughts, floods or rises in sea level worsen.

But at the same time, very few of the islanders surveyed in Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru have the money needed to move .

The survey, by the UN University and the European Union, is the first of its kind.

Funafuti's oceanside shoreline, Tuvalu

Funafuti's oceanside shoreline, Tuvalu Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

It shows more than 70 percent of households surveyed in Kiribati and Tuvalu and 35 percent of those in Nauru, say family members would be willing to move if the impact of climate change worsened.

About a quarter of the nearly seven thousand surveyed felt they had enough money to migrate.

The researchers projected that international migration would increase sharply by 2055 from all three island states.