How climate change could trigger a new wave of global migration

How climate change could trigger a new wave of global migration

Rising temperatures across the world are making many regions uninhabitable, resulting in mass population shifts. Nations must now start to accept immigration as a climate adaptation strategy.


Will migration from Europe and the rest of the world be a blessing or a curse for Ireland? Most of what we hear about immigration presents it as a problem. There are suggestions that we don’t have enough houses or services to cater for refugees and asylum seekers in a way that upholds their human rights. Yet at the same time, we are at full employment and many businesses are constrained by staff shortages.  


Over the past 10 years, there has been an 86 per cent increase in the number of non-Irish people employed in the Irish economy.  According to the CSO, the sectors most dependent on immigrant labour are industry (14 per cent), health (13.4 per cent) and retail and wholesale (12.4 per cent). 


A recent report by the ESRI shows that we need thousands more workers in the construction sector to deliver on housing needs and to accelerate the delivery of the National Development Plan. Without this plan, we can’t create the sustainable, low-carbon infrastructure needed to achieve our climate targets.  


At present, we don’t have the workers we need to implement the plan, so there will have to be immigration. Developing the skills needed for a low-carbon sustainable economy means we will need diverse competencies across a range of jobs, from minimum-wage roles to professionals.


Read the full article on The Currency website.


Picture of Tara Shine

Tara Shine

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