15 June 2022


University College London

Human displacement in the context of extreme weather events and climate change

UCL Humanitarian Summit
Wednesday 15 June 2022 | 10:00 am–3:30 pm BST
Register here


The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognised climate change as a potent driver of involuntary migration and disaster displacement as a tremendous humanitarian challenge of the 21st century. 

The IPCC WGII Sixth Assessment Report (2022) highlights that climate and weather extremes are increasingly driving displacement in all regions, mainly where climate hazards interact with high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity. This trend of human displacement will increase with the intensification of heavy precipitation and associated flooding, tropical cyclones, drought and, increasingly, sea-level rise. 

Likewise, the Groundswell Part-2 report (2021) estimates that as many as 216 million people could move within their own countries due to slow-onset climate change impacts by 2050. In addition, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) warns that displacement by disasters is regularly reaching around 25 million people each year, which is three times higher than people displaced by conflicts and violence. In contrast, even a much higher number of people are trapped in the climatic hotspots making them significantly vulnerable to continuing poverty, land and water degradation, loss of livelihoods and ecosystems, food insecurity, health hazards and increased inequality. 

Climate change is contributing to humanitarian crises. Against this background, the one-day, in-person event will provide stimulating talks, interactive discussions and networking opportunities on the impacts of extreme weather events and human-caused climate change on disaster displacement and non-migration.


10:30–12:30: Panel 1 – UCL-IDMC Disaster Displacement Research Hub inauguration (Moderator: Dr Bayes Ahmed)
12:30–14:00: Lunch and networking break
14:00–15:30: Panel 2 – Climate change, conflict, and migration (Moderator: Prof Ilan Kelman)
15:30–16:30: Tea and coffee reception


Panel 1 – UCL-IDMC Disaster Displacement Research Hub Inauguration

We aim to establish a globally unique and pioneering research hub in collaboration with the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), the leading organisation in this arena. The proposed new collaboration, UCL-IDMC Disaster Displacement Research Hub, will be international, interdisciplinary and ground-breaking as it focuses on the complex nexus between climate-induced migration, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.

  • Bina DesaiHead of Programmes at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) 
  • Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD)
  • Christelle Cazabat, Research Manager at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)

Panel 2: Climate change, conflict, and migration

  • Caroline Voûte, Health Policy / Climate and Environmental Health Advisor
  • Cláudia Santos, PhD candidate at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon
  • Calum T.M. Nicholson, Fellow of the Danube Institute and Mathias Corvinus Collegium