Opening of the exhibition on 9 October 2023

How climate change is driving
people to flee

Munich Klimaherbst 2023

Vernissage of the exhibition CLIMATE-INDUCED MIGRATION at the Munich School of Philosophy on 9 October 2023

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    The touring exhibition CLIMATE-INDUCED MIGRATION of the Deutsche KlimaStiftung is making a stop in Munich on the occasion of the Munich Klimaherbst 2023. Twelve life-size figures from different countries describe in exemplary ways how climate change is changing their lives and what hopes they have for the future. The Munich Re Foundation brought the exhibition to Munich in cooperation with the Munich School of Philosophy and the Münchner Volkshochschule. The vernissage took place on 9 October.
    Stefan Einsiedel (IHS), Renate Bleich (MRF) and Arne Dunker (KlimaStiftung) opened the exhibition.
    What are the fears about the future of the inhabitants of the Pacific island of Kiribati, which rises on average no more than two meters out of the sea? How does global warming affect the fishermen in the Mekong Delta? And what are the concerns of olive growers in Greece or farmers in the breadbasket of the USA? The exhibition CLIMATE-INDUCED MIGRATION focuses on individual fates. Twelve stories represent real people from all parts of the world who have become victims of the global climate crisis and make us aware of our responsibility.

    No sustainable peace without climate protection

    "Look these people in the face, listen to their stories. These are the people from whom and for whom we learn," appealed Dr. Stefan Einsiedel, executive director of the Center for Global Issues at the Munich School of Philosophy. Research in the social sciences should not take place in an ivory tower. Rather, it is their task to draw the big picture starting from the individual and to enable people to lead a better life on the basis of the knowledge gained. Climate migration offers a broad field of research because it plays into elementary areas such as international understanding, justice and peace. As climate change exacerbates food shortages and water scarcity, it intensifies distributional conflicts and fuels violent disputes. Sustainable peace without climate protection is hardly conceivable.
    Renate Bleich, Chair of the Munich Re Foundation, outlined the dimensions of climate migration we may be facing: "In the past ten years, extreme weather has driven around 20 million people a year out of their traditional habitats. Even if we address climate change decisively, we still have to expect 40 to 50 million climate refugees in the future, and in the worst case, significantly more."
    Vulnerable groups are particularly affected by climate change.

    Where people flee, culture is lost

    How many more climate refugees there could be was outlined in an extreme scenario by Arne Dunker, who leads the Deutsche KlimaStiftung as its executive director and launched the touring exhibition in 2016. "If we continue as we are and the earth warms by 4 degrees by the end of the century, areas of the world could become uninhabitable where three billion people live today," he warned. This makes it all the more important, he said, to give high priority to the issue of climate change. Because wherever habitats are endangered, not only do people disappear, but entire cultures are lost.
    The problem is intensified by the fact that many threatened countries, such as Bangladesh or Somalia, have fewer resources to adequately adapt to climate change. They lack the financial and technical means with which the industrialized countries can mitigate the consequences of climate change. Yet even here, people are bearing thoughts of emigration. "In the Swiss village of Isenthal, you meet families who, because of the melting glaciers, are pondering how they will be able to supply their alpine pastures with water in the coming decades. Directly linked to this is the question: are we leaving?" explained Dunker. In this respect, climate migration is not only a major issue in the Global South, but also affects many places in temperate latitudes, from Switzerland to Hallig Langeneß in the North Sea.
    Low-lying islands in the Pacific are the first to experience the effects of sea level rise.

    The question of climate and justice

    This does not change the great injustice that the regions suffering most from climate change are those whose people have contributed least to it and who have little opportunity to adapt. "In view of this climate injustice, it is all the more absurd that the industrialized countries, as the main polluters, are interning the fleeing people at their gates," Dunker criticized. 
    The life-size figures tell their story of climate-induced migration.


    17 October 2023

    Further information about the exhibition

    The exhibition CLIMATE-INDUCED MIGRATION is more topical than ever. It shows that migration movements are the sum of many individual fates. To prevent these movements from turning into humanitarian catastrophes, courageous approaches, new ideas and more people who deal with the complex interrelationships are needed. The exhibition is complemented by the “KlimaGesichter” project, which trains people with a refugee background to become so-called climate ambassadors. These ambassadors use their experiences from their home countries to illustrate to others that we are in the midst of climate change.
    The exhibition will be on display at the School of Philosophy until 27 October 2023.

    Exhibition venue:  Munich School of Philosophy, Kaulbachstraße 31, 80539 Munich

    Exhibition period: 9 to 27 October 2023, Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 21:00

    Further information about the Klimaherbst 2023

    The Münchner Klimaherbst series of events will take place from 6 to 31 October 2023. This year's theme is "Fair enough?" and focuses on climate and justice. Numerous lectures, films, excursions, discussions and much more will take place throughout the city.

    Klimaherbst.YOUTH is an additional programme from 6 October to 5 November 2023, aimed at children, young people aged 14 to 30 and teachers.

    All events can be found online at, in the Klimaherbst.MAGAZINE and in the Klimaherbst.YOUTH folder, which is available in the city or can be ordered.