This paper begins to fill the gap in the understanding of the nexus between climate change, displacement, and education, drawing on a plethora of cross-disciplinary evidence and research, emerging better practices and lessons learned from education systems across the world, and foresight work on the futures of education. As global warming continues towards 1.5C, and potentially 2C, it is projected that climate change effects on health, food security, water and human security will increase. The most disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, particularly some indigenous people, local communities dependent on agricultural or coastal livelihoods, dryland areas and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), are at a disproportionately higher risk of the adverse consequences. Therefore, there is a growing and urgent need for all involved in education systems to better understand the systemic effects of climate change, including their interaction with displacement.
To interact and engage in a shift towards the concept of “regenerative education”, education responses to displacement should embrace the need to go beyond a push or call to re-establish or return to pre-displacement ‘normalcy’ which likely upholds existing social inequalities, as previously outlined, as this would disallow opportunities to radically rethink environmental and social relations constructed through education66. For education to play a regenerative and reparative role it must be alive to past and present injustices, creating a space for multiple and at times competing knowledge traditions and seeking to understand the entangled histories of climate-displaced learners. Similarly to violence and conflict, displacement, and its drivers, cannot be separated from the entrenched societal histories in which they occur or be framed as singular instances of crisis.