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An investigation into climate migration with Gaia Vince

Bird's-eye view of forest and sea
Andreas Gücklhorn/Unsplash
Sep 05, 2023 By WGSN Insider
Updates from WGSN

With the right strategies, migration might be the answer to climate displacement. Discover how we can build a more sustainable and equitable future through just transitions and thoughtful city planning.

Experts all over the world have been calling for action on climate change, but never has the urgency been more prominent than in the present. Climate change is known to disproportionately affect indigenous communities and marginalised groups, who are more vulnerable, yet “least able to prepare for, and recover from, heat waves, poor air quality, flooding and other impacts,” according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. 

In this episode, WGSN CEO Carla Buzasi leads a discussion on climate adaptation alongside Gaia Vince, award-winning science and environment writer. The pair explores how we can adapt to the new world after climate change, from dissecting climate-related migration to examining the solutions for restoring our planet to a habitable state – key themes Gaia also investigates in her latest book, Nomad Century: How to Survive the Climate Upheaval.

Bird's-eye view of island
Willian Justen de Vasconcellos/Unsplash

Gaia also introduces the notion of a ‘just transition’, highlighting the need for fairness, inclusivity and social justice while emphasising the importance of moving towards a more sustainable economy in a way that is equitable for all. Tune in to discover how to save the planet with Gaia Vince.

Entering the century of adaptation

“The idea that people are forced to leave because their home is unlivable is nothing short of a tragedy. We’re going to have to come up with solutions of how we deal with this heating Earth, whether it’s adapting by helping people move or changing our food systems, our energy systems, the materials we use, everything. It’s going to be a century of adaptation.”

Dessicated soil

Achieving the just transition

“By 2050, at least three-quarters of us are going to live in cities. They are massive users of energy and resources, but they’re actually the most efficient way of housing large numbers of people because generally your own carbon emissions are lower. You get public transport, you tend to live more densely, your heating bills aren’t as high, you can share all sorts of commodities and resources and so on.”

City skyline
Aleksandar Pasaric/Pexels

Tackling interlocking crises

“Our crises are interlocked. The worsening climate affects biodiversity, causes extinctions and that worsens food production, causes devastation to the poorest people. But the upside of that interconnectivity is that if you act on one of these areas, you get multiple benefits and feedback that everything can feed off and become better generally.”
– Gaia Vince, award-winning author and science journalist

Head to Apple or Spotify to hear the full discussion on our Lives of Tomorrow podcast episode, How to Save the Planet with Gaia Vince.

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