State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Conference Will Discuss Retreat From Rising Seas and Other Climate Hazards

coastal flooding behind fence on sand dune
Coastal flooding near Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Source: Putneypics/Flickr

As climate change causes seas to rise, coastal communities around the world face a difficult dilemma: Should they fight to keep their homes and communities above water, or accept that moving inland may be the best option? Other communities in California are similarly questioning whether to stay or leave as wildfires become more common and more destructive.

From June 22 to June 25, a virtual conference hosted by the Columbia Climate School and the Earth Institute will examine the complicated and emotionally charged questions around managed retreat, the process of relocating existing and planned development away from hazards such as rising seas, wildfires, floods, and droughts.

Building on the success of the 2019 Managed Retreat conference, the 2021 meeting will address a range of scientific, social, policy and governance issues around managed retreat. Panels will discuss which populations are most at risk, why communities exist in high-hazard locations, adaptation options, what fair and equitable planned retreat can look like, effective buyout strategies, the potential and pitfalls of climate insurance, and much more. The agenda can be found here.

fire on a hillside
The Whittier Fire in California in 2017. Photo: Glenn Beltz/Flickr

The conference will bring together stakeholders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, together with academics, scientists, and community representatives, to help develop a common understanding of this complex issue, and move the needle toward equitable solutions. A major emphasis will be on issues of environmental justice, in recognition that the people most impacted by decisions around retreat have a key role in these conversations.

The goals of the conference are to:

  • advance the research agenda around managed retreat in an interdisciplinary, solutions-oriented way;
  • facilitate networking and discussion among many types of stakeholders, and bridge the information gap between academics, practitioners, and affected communities; and
  • develop concrete solutions and best practices around a complex climate adaptation issue.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the event website. You can also learn more in the video below.

Columbia campus skyline with text Columbia Climate School Class Day 2024 - Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to our Columbia Climate School MA in Climate & Society Class of 2024! Learn about our May 10 Class Day celebration. #ColumbiaClimate2024

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2 years ago

Finaly that somebody dealing with word problems on line. Cause its past last moment that something can change. And more people get informed and more incuded with global ishue gets biger chance to react and deal with poblem. And what bether way than inernet where are everebody thoday the most of the time..

2 years ago

Ps.we got a go one step bacword to go fowad. Or in this case were whole world depend even more. So is not egnof to to materlijal over this and yust talk. Cause every celsius up every everyday reaction have huge cosiqwince that need wake up in people thnx