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Theme: Climate Migration

"What is most problematic about climate migration discussion is that it starts from the false assumption that dangerous levels of climate change cannot be avoided. I think this is politically a very misleading message. A lot of the projected migration could still be prevented by drastic emission cuts”, says Angela Oels, a visiting professor at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS).
Photo: UN, Tobin Jones
UN Photo, Tobin Jones

Climate migration is a complex topic, and during COP21 it will be discussed during an official side event hosted by Lund University in collaboration with the universities of Hamburg and Lancaster. At this side event, six European universities from the EU Cost Action IS1101 “Climate Change and Migration” present their key findings after four years of collaboration.

Angela Oels, who is one of the lead organizers of this side event, says that the main message from the EU COST Action is that the political conditions are usually much more important for people’s decision to stay or to migrate than natural conditions. “If people in the end really have to migrate depends on the political context and economic structures. Poverty is a key factor that makes people more vulnerable to climate change impacts in the first place”, says Angela Oels.

Read a longer interview with Angela Oels: “There is no simple link between climate change and migration”

Official side-event on COP21 on 1 December

A Somali refugee stands inside a tent with her baby in Dollo Ado Ethiopia. Photo: UN, Flickr, Eskinder Debebe
A Somali refugee stands inside a tent with her baby in Dollo Ado Ethiopia. Photo: UN, Flickr, Eskinder Debebe

Official Side-Event COP21: The importance of social science research for understanding climate change induced migration

Discussions at COP21 side event on climate change and migration

Watch a video from the side-event by IISD reporting services:

 

The Importance of Social Science Research for Understanding Climate Change Induced Migration from IISD Reporting Services / ENB+ on Vimeo.

Other interviews with researchers from Lund University

In this theme we also present interviews with other Lund University researchers from different disciplines, discussing climate migration from their point of view.

Photo: Victor1212/Shutterstock
Photo: Victor1212/Shutterstock

Earlier on this year, Lund University Magazine interviewed professor Karin Aggestam telling us more about the idea that collaborating over a scarce resource like water could lay the grounds for peacemaking: Collaboration on water offers great potential for peace

Lund University Magazine has also interviewed PhD student Matthew Scott about climate migration (in Swedish): Migration i blickfånget

In another interview in the series of articles at Sustainability Forum made before COP21, Lina Eklund, a post-doctoral researcher at Lund University sheds light on some of the complexities of the Middle East region: How does weather and climate variability affect the Middle East?

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