Why the social nature of climate change doesn’t fit into climate change media profile? – The mediation of climate change induced migration in the UK as a case study.

Author: Maria Sakellari – University of Brighton, United Kingdom

Climate change is expected to drive migration to the UK. Yet, whilst climate change has gained news coverage in the UK, it is still largely seen as an environmental or political issue, with little discussion of the social aspects of climate change, such as migration. This paper will explore why UK media discourse on climate change induced migration is limited compared to other aspects of climate change. For this purpose, the paper provides an overview of climate change induced migration and its complexity as a social and policy issue, explores framing studies literature in order to understand why certain climate change frames are more salient than others, and engages with literature on the mediation of human migration and migration policy in order to examine the social construction of migrants more generally in the UK. Ultimately, the discussion about the implications for meaningful media discourse on the climate change induced migration issue sheds some knowledge on the ways in which the securitisation of climate change induced migration is involved in the climate change media frame building process. Securitisation is based on the underlying assumption that countries are threatened by the potential for crime and terrorism within these new migratory flows and the anti-immigration discourse in the UK, highly correlated with the Brexit decision. This paper thus represents the first step in exploring an under researched area, that is media representations of climate change induced migration.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Visual talk
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Influencing policies through science communication