Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

How Climate-Induced Migration Entered the UN Policy Agenda in 2007–2010: A Multiple Streams Assessment

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Abstract:  In 2007, issues regarding climate-induced migration took a giant leap on the international policy agenda at the same time as a growth of interest in and salience of climate security. From having been a technical non-issue since the 1980s, climate-induced migration became one of the most emphasised consequences of climate change for a short period. After three years of fluidity in actors, institutions, and conceptual framings, issues of climate change and migration reached a formal recognition in the 2010 Cancún Adaptation Framework, marking a new era for policy discussions on climate-induced migration. This article sets out to show why this issue, which had been known to policymakers and academia for at least two decades, took such a major leap up the agenda at this specific point in time. The article draws from rich primary interview material together with an analytical framework based on the multiple streams framework in order to systematically answer this question. In doing so, the article primarily offers an empirical contribution to the knowledge and understanding of the specific agenda-setting mechanisms of climate-induced migration in an international policy context.

Keywords:  climate change; climate-induced migration; global governance; multiple streams framework; windows of opportunity



© Elin Jakobsson. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.