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Migration and Climate Change

February 6 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

The concept of ‘climate migration’ combines two large-scale risks for today’s society: climate change and migration. From a political perspective, progressives are typically concerned about the risk relating to climate, while conservatives typically focus on risks posed by migration to existing societies and cultures. From an analytical perspective, there are both maximalists and minimalists, with regards to the severity of climate change vis-à-vis migration. The media landscape surrounding the topic of ‘climate migration’ is shaped by both these political and analytical axes. Implied in the debates on ‘climate migration’ are also more reflexive questions about the society that is preoccupied with the topic, regardless of its politics or analyses: what is the place and role of science in society, politics, and policy-making? To what extent should qualitative and cultural considerations be taken into account in technocratic decision-making, particularly around discussions of adaptation to climate change? Should decision-making prioritise the enforcing of international agreements, or by asserting national sovereignty? What is the relationship between idealism and pragmatism in discussions of issues like ‘climate migration’?

An interdisciplinary group of experts in climate science, migration, geography, geopolitics, literature, film, and the arts, from academia, consulting, think tanks, the arts, journalism, law, and streaming platforms will meet at the Richard Eden Suite at Clare Hall to discuss a range of questions including:

  • what do we mean by climate migration?
  • how the media responds to migration and climate change
  • policy responses to potential long term mass migration from climate change
  • the role of creativity and the arts in responding to climate change and migration


February 6
9:00 am - 4:30 pm


Clare Hall, Cambridge
Cambridge, United Kingdom


Science & Human Dimension Project
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