Within the framework of the 22th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC climate negotiations (COP22), members of the EDGE consortium participated in a number of side events, among which the one on Climate Change, Human Migration and Health.

Bringing together scientists and experts working on environmental diplomacy and geopolitics, the transdisciplinary panel shared and discussed tangible solutions to enhance the health context of climate migrants. The topics covered migration as a climate adaptation strategy, climate migration and its impacts on health as well as open questions aimed at discussing the future research priorities for global health.

The first panel, on ‘Migration as an adaptation strategy against climate change’ was moderated by Aline Philibert (Université de Québec à Montréal and Centre Virchow-Villerme) with the participation of François Gemenne (Sciences Po and University of Liège) Caroline Zickgraf (University of Liège), Yves Charbit (Centre Virchow-Villermé) and Dina Ionesco (IOM). The second panel, ‘Climate, migration and impacts on health’ was co-chaired by Antoine Flahault (Institute of Global Health, University of Geneva and Centre Virchow-Villermé) and Rajae El Aouad (School of Medicine University Mohammed V. Rabat).

The framing of COP22 as an ‘action summit’ was reflected strongly in the orientation of the side event, which took as its departure point the recent shift in approach from treating climate change first and foremost as a major threat to human health to responding to it as an opportunity to enhance health – for those who remain behind, for the migrants themselves and for the host communities that they join.

The conference report can be consulted here.