Academic Events

Rethinking Climate Change and Migration: From Victims to Agents of Change

23 Feb 24

Hybrid: ODID, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB & Online (Zoom)

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Time: 430 pm (UK)

While it is a prevailing perception that migrants are primarily victims of climate change, the reality is far more complex.

International organizations have projected that millions of people will be forced to migrate due to climate change in the following decades, with the World Economic Forum labelling them as "the world's forgotten victims” due to their lack of legal protections. However, the portrayal of migrants as passive victims being pushed by uncontrollable forces is an incomplete picture. Many people have voluntarily migrated from the countryside to areas of greater climate vulnerability for better livelihood opportunities. Moreover, migrants contribute to forming transnational businesses and actively engage in political activities within their destination countries, often advocating for causes such as climate adaptation related to their countries of origin. This economic and political engagement holds immense potential for combating the climate change emergency.

Within this context, our panel will explore questions such as:

  1. In which ways are diaspora groups helping communities of origin adapt to climate change?
  2. Is there any role for green diaspora bonds or green diaspora investments?
  3. What is the role of migrants as political agents in the fight against climate change in their countries of destination?


  • Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, Associate Professor in the César E Chávez Department of Chicana, Chicano and Central American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Yvonne Su, Assistant Professor in the Department of Equity Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York University
  • Chair: Carlos Vargas-Silva, Professor in Migration Studies, Centre on Migration Policy and Society and Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford
  • Welcome: Abel Valenzuela, Professor of Urban Planning and Chicana/o Studies, Dean for UCLA Division of Social Sciences

This joint event is with the North American Integration and Development Center/Indigenous, Migratory and Frontline Community Center (NAID/IMFC), UCLA.

Visit the registration link on the ODID website.