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Climate Reality Project


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Civics, Geography, English Language Arts, Health

Resource Type

  • Article

Regional Focus


Climate Migrants

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  • This article introduces students to the concept of climate migrants and refugees as an indirect effect of climate change.
  • The article defines climate migration, explains how it is caused, and provides solutions.
Teaching Tips


  • This is an excellent introduction to climate migration, an impact of climate change that is often perceived as distant in time and place.
  • The article is broken down into four easy-to-understand sections explaining what climate migration is, the difference between migrants and refugees, why displacement occurs, and what solutions would have the most significant impact.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Although explained briefly in the text, ideally, students have a general understanding of the effects of climate change before reading the article.
  • For those without access to the internet, this resource can be printed.


  • Students can research real case studies of climate refugees.
  • For older or more advanced students, have them consider the implications of climate migration for peace, conflict, and economic and political stability.
  • Have students consider why people in developing countries are more likely to experience climate migration and the inequalities that have led to this.
  • For further information on climate migration, watch this video on human displacement.
Scientist Notes
The resource highlights the level of human migration as a result of climate change impact. As disasters and extreme weather conditions occur, people tend to migrate to safe places. They become climate refugees, however, Article 1 of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention does not identify these persons as refugees. Therefore, this resource attempts to debunk this and provide clear evidence of the need to revise the provisions contained in the article to incorporate climate refugees - that is to say, people migrating to safe conditions as a result of natural hazards or disasters caused by climate change. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: History/Social Studies (6-12)
      • RH.6-8.8 Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
      • RH.9-10.5 Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.
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