Lancaster University is cohosting an event on climate migration at the world leaders climate talks in Paris in December
The panel discussion will present the findings of a four-year European project, bringing together researchers from across the social sciences, humanities, law, and policy studies from all European member states.
“How will climate change interact with patterns of human migration? This question has originated a lively debate that has reached the highest spheres of international climate politics, with the fear of mass climate-induced displacement widely echoed in the news” said Dr Giovanni Bettini, from the Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University.
“The issue has proved divisive in academic and policy contexts, with conflicting views on how it should be understood and acted upon.
“For instance, the Syrian tragedy has been described in the media as an anticipation of what could come in a warmer world, following studies that link the Syrian conflict to a drought. That view associates migration with security threats and conflict. On the opposite end of the spectrum, others advocate the view that migration can represent an adaptation strategy.”
Social science research has made a significant contribution to understanding climate change induced migration. Seven researchers involved in the EU Cost Action IS1101 ‘Climate Change and Migration’ will present their key findings on December 1, at an official Side Event held at the main conference centre where world leaders and their representatives are meeting for the COP 21 climate talks.
Giovanni’s research examines the implications of the language used to describe the phenomenon, and how this has changed over time.
“Even in the context of climate change, whether migration is framed as a security issue or as a legitimate adaptation strategy has huge practical implications, not least in terms of climate justice and on the life of many people” he said.
“Highlighting the not always obvious practical implications of different discourses is one of the contributions critical research can provide toward just policies on climate change”.
The researchers presenting at the event are:
- Dr. Andrew Baldwin, from the Institute for Hazard, Risk and Resilience, Durham University looks at how inequality directly affects vulnerability to climate change impacts and how climate change impacts may affect migration movements and intensify already ongoing conflicts about resource usage and livelihoods.
- Prof. Jürgen Scheffran from CliSAP, Hamburg University, explains how climate migration can lead to solidarity as much as to violent conflict and shows how scares about large scale climate wars are not justified.
- Dr. Angela Oels from the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies joins Giovanni to discuss how those displaced by climate change have been named over the last twenty years and observe a marked shift from ‘victim’ to ‘adaptive migrant’. Dr. Francois Gemennefrom Sciences Po / Liége University presents some good reasons why we might want to continue to use the term ‘climate refugee’.
- Dr. Koko Warner from the Institute for Environment and Human Security, United Nations University (UNU-EHS) will assess scenarios of how human mobility may show up in the COP21 discussions and point out opportunities for post-Paris climate policy and action to help vulnerable people.
- Nnimmo Bassey, will offer an external critical discussion of the research presented from the perspective of a non-governmental organization. He will highlight the need for climate justice.
Date and time: Tuesday 1st December, 11:30-13:00 Video from the event can be seen here.
Place: The Conference Centre, Paris – Le Bourget Site, Room 8 (open to accredited persons only).
Organisers: Lead organiser is Dr. Angela Oels, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS). Co-organizers are Dr. Giovanni Bettini, Lancaster University and Prof. Jürgen Scheffran, Hamburg University