Climate change and migration: predictions, politics and policy
A new online course, focused on the links between climate change and migration. Study online, for free – and get to grips with one of defining global issues of the 21st century
Climate change and migration: predictions, politics and policy
Take part in the course online, via live stream
Take part at your own pace. Join the sessions live, or catch up with lecture recording in your own time
The course runs betwen February and November 2019, with one session per month. Each session is two hours. The likely time commitment is therefore only a few hours per month
No previous knowledge is required
There is no fee to participate
About this course
Climate change is set to play a key role in patterns of human settlement and migration in the future. Altered patterns of drought, storms and sea level rise are already creating new patterns of migration.
This course is intended for anyone wishing to tackle a major global issue.
The course is completely online. You can join the sessions via live stream from your computer. The sessions will provide roughly an hour of lecture input, followed by a chance for discussion. If you can’t join the sessions live, you can watch them online anytime, at your own pace. Each session also comes with a collection of recommended reading and watching, so you can investigate the themes and ideas further if you wish.
Sessions 1 -3 – getting started
These sessions provide grounding in the links between climate change and migration, as well as research methods used to explore the role of climate change in shaping the human movement.
Sessions 4 -6 – politics
These sessions look at the key political ideas that are shaping how climate migration unfolds, who is impacted and how governments are responding.
Sessions 7 and 8 – policy
These sessions look at the key policy areas where decisions about climate-linked migration are being taken. These sessions look at the major international fora where states negotiate on this issue.
Sessions 9 and 10 – complex crises
These sessions use the tools and learning from the entire course to examine several complex humanitarian crises in which climate change has played a role. They will look at how climate change has created and influenced human movement in and around the impacted areas.
Course sessions and dates
Course session details and dates
Each of the course sessions are detailed here. Once the session date has passed the recording of the lecture and the task will be added here too.
Getting started: what does climate-linked migration look like? February 14th 2019
In this introductory lecture, we’ll look at three testimonies from Mexico, The Philippines and Pakistan. Each tells a different story, and each allows us to look at a different kind of human movement driven by climate change. We’ll reflect on the context of each of these testimonies and use them to jump into wider issues surrounding climate-linked migration.
Session 1 task:
- Download the Moving Stories document. This is a collection of testimonies from people from across the world who have moved – in part – due to the impacts of climate change.
- Spend a little time looking through the document and reading a few of the testimonies.
- Choose one testimony to focus on, and consider the following questions:
- Thinking about the climactic event that is part of this person’s testimony – how quickly did it unfold? Did it arrive suddenly, or did it unfold over a number of months?
- Thinking about the experience of the person who moved – how much agency did they have? How many choices (if any) did they have? For example could they decide when they moved, could they decide where they moved to, could they decide who they moved with?
- Focusing on the testimony, did this person cross an international border or not? Are they talking about the possibility of crossing a border? Or are they talking about moving within their own country?
- What kind of risks might this person have encountered if they had stayed where they were? And what kind of new or different risks do you think they will encounter as a result of moving?
- Now choose one other testimony from a different chapter of the Moving Stories collection. Go through the above questions again. Which answers are similar and which are different?
5. If you want, write down the answers to the above questions and post them to the course Facebook group. If you wish, please also post encouraging and constructive comments on other people’s posts who have done this
The very big picture. A very brief history of migration and climate change. March 14th 2019
What do we know? And what does the future hold? April 18th 2019
Politics 1: Neoliberalism. May
Politics 2: Our unequal world. June
Politics 3: Security - for who? July
Policy 1: key policy issues. August
Policy 2: policy processes and decision-making. September
Complex crises 1: Syria and the Rohingya. October
Complex crises 2: The Pacific Islands and the Horn of Africa. November
Does the course cost anything?
The course is completely free
How much time will it take up?
There is one session per month. Each session is roughly 2 hours long. The minimum time is, therefore, two hours, but you can pursue your own interests and follow up using the recommended reading from each session
What equipment do I need?
You need a device with a screen and an internet connection. To join the sessions live, your device will need to be able to access our webinar platform ‘Zoom.’ You can check the device requirements here. To catch up with the sessions later, you’ll need a device that can play Youtube videos.
Are there any prerequisites?
No, you don’t need any previous qualifications. We don’t assume you have any previous experience in this field.
Is the course accredited by an academic institution?
How often are you going to email me?
Is there any assessment?
No, there is no requirement to complete or submit work for assessment
“Diving Near Slums of Cebu City Philippin” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by AdamCohn
“Pakistan Floods – 6 months on” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) DfiD / Russell Watkins
What do we know about the links between climate change and conflict? Will life on a hotter planet be on with more armed violence?
An evening briefing exploring the links between climate change and migration. Find out more and book places. 24 October, London
Workshop on climate change and migration. A half-day session exploring the links between climate change and migration. 16 October, London
Governments across the world should legalise and regulate temporary climate migration, rather than try to prevent it.
Most of what you know about climate-linked migration is probably wrong. The media usually report on the connections that are most dramatic or tragic, skewing the picture.
Last year 23 million people were forced from their homes by disasters linked to the weather and climate change. As the planet warms (which inevitably it will) this number will probably go up.