End Climate Change, Start Climate of Change: A Pan-European campaign to build a better future for climate-induced migrants, the human face of climate change (#ClimateOfChange)

Third Mission Projects; Europe; Sub-Saharan Africa

Funded by European Commission, DEAR Programme

The average global temperature is constantly rising and the catastrophic consequences of climate change are increasingly evident, even in the case of those phenomena, such as desertification or loss of land productivity, which are only visible in time. But desertification, droughts, cyclones and floods do not only concern the environment. There are implications to be defined, affecting all those people who leave their home in search of better opportunities. The relationship between climate change and migration is not simply one of cause and effect: on the contrary, it is a complex relationship, which is affected by many factors and variables. The most recent data shows that migration is on the rise: workers, families and entire communities move mainly within their own country, the region, the continent where they live and, sometimes, overseas.

Engaging youth to understand the complex relationships between climate change and migration to create a movement of informed people, ready to change lifestyle and demand new development policies is the goal of End Climate Change, Start Climate of Change – in short #ClimateOfChange – the initiative funded by the European Commission under the DEAR programme (Development Education and Awareness Raising), which supports projects involving EU citizens in social, economic and environmental issues of global relevance.

However, changing one’s individual behaviour is not enough: it is necessary to create a European network of young people who work together to call for collective change, at local, national and European level. Joining forces to achieve this goal are 16 European organizations led by WeWorld – among which civil society organisations, universities and NGOs – who have been working since the beginning of 2020 to plan in synergy not only research and debates in schools and universities, but also a pan-European communication and awareness campaign, online and offline, which will affect millions of boys and girls aged 16 to 35 living in 23 EU member states.

In the 40 months of intervention #ClimateOfChange aims to create a movement of informed people ready not only to change their habits in favour of a sustainable and responsible lifestyle but also willing to take action to demand development policies to tackle global warming, recognizing the latter, in its complexity, as one of the main drivers of migration and forced displacement of populations. In fact, the basic idea that guides all our activities is that the fight against climate change cannot come exclusively from the will of a person, but a joint effort of citizens and political decision-makers is needed.

The University of Bologna participates in the project through the involvement of four departments (Political and Social Sciences (DSPS), Agri-food Sciences and Technologies (DISTAL), Sociology and Economic Law (SDE) and History of Culture and Civilization (DISCI)) in a perspective of interdisciplinarity.