François Gemenne

Researcher and former Executive director of the research programme Politics of the Earth

An expert in the geopolitics of the environment, François Gemenne was the executive director of the interdisciplinary research program "Politics of the Earth" at Sciences Po (Médialab).

#Climate Change

Languages spoken: French, English


François Gemenne is a qualified researcher at FNRS at the University of Liège (CEDEM) and at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (CEARC). He also teaches environmental policy and international migrations at Sciences Po Paris and Grenoble, and at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.


His research primarily focuses on migrations and population displacements related to environmental changes, notably natural disasters, as well as policies for adapting to climate change. He has conducted numerous field studies, including in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, in the Tuvalu archipelago, China, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, Mauritius, and Japan following the Fukushima disaster.


He has participated in a large number of international research projects on these topics, notably the European projects EACH-FOR, HELIX, and MECLEP, of which he is the scientific coordinator. He also coordinated the DEVAST project, one of the first international projects dedicated to studying the political and social consequences of the Fukushima disaster. In 2015, he received a Fulbright scholarship to continue his research at Princeton University. He was also the scientific advisor for the exhibition ‘Native Land, Start From Elsewhere’ at the Fondation Cartier for Contemporary Art, and a consultant for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, the ACP Migration Observatory, and the British Government (Foresight). He received the ISDT-Wernaers Prize for his work in popularizing science to the general public.


He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Sciences Po Paris and the University of Liège, Belgium (joint degree). He also has a Master’s in Development, Environment, and Societies from the University of Louvain, and a Research Master’s in Political Science from the London School of Economics, where he also taught. Between 2008 and 2010, he was the recipient of a post-doctoral research fellowship from the Axa Research Fund. He has published his work in several journals, including Science and Global Environmental Change, and is the author of six books, including ‘Geopolitics of the Climate’ (Armand Colin, 2009 and 2015) and ‘The Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis’ (edited with C. Hamilton and C. Bonneuil, Routledge 2015). He is currently preparing an Atlas of Environmental Migrations with D. Ionesco and D. Mokhnacheva (Routledge 2015).


Additionally, he is the director of the ‘Sustainable Development’ department at Presses de Sciences Po, and president of Ecosphere, a European think-tank dedicated to human rights and the environment.