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Geopolitics of Climate Change

A series of conferences about climate change were organized a few weeks ago by the Perelman centre at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Here are two observations from François Gemenne:

  • Climate refugees are most often treated as if they are unable to adapt to the climate changes occurring in their own region. We should instead recognize that emigrating is a legitimate adapting strategy to climate change, and that climate refugees are far from being victims without any capacity to act. Displaced populations are only one aspect of the problem. We need to better understand the conditions that lead to the decision to either stay or leave an affected region.
  • The more a country pollutes, the more it has weight in climate negotiations. Model pupils are not the ones who need to change their behaviour, but polluting countries impose their conditions for change.

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