Worsening climate change requires the United States to do much more to track, facilitate and manage the flows of refugees fleeing natural disasters, the Biden administration said on Thursday in what it touted as the first comprehensive review of the problem by the federal government.
The report recommends a series of measures: do more to monitor floods or other disasters that could create climate refugees, target US aid that can help people weather droughts or storms in their own countries, and review protections. for refugees driven from their country in part because of the deteriorating climate.
He also urges the creation of a task force to coordinate America’s management of climate change and migration across government, from climate scientists to aid and security officials.
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Each year, hurricanes, lack of seasonal rains and other sudden natural disasters force an average of 21.5 million people from their homes around the world, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Worsening climate from burning coal and gas is already intensifying a series of disasters, with wildfires sweeping through California cities, rising seas overtaking island nations, and drought-aggravated conflict in parts of the world .
“Political and programming efforts now and in the years to come will have an impact on estimates of the number of people moving due to climate-related factors,” the report said. It was commissioned by President Joe Biden and compiled recommendations from federal government agencies. “Tens of millions of people, however, are likely to be displaced over the next two to three decades due, in large part, to the impacts of climate change.”
The Biden administration is eager to show itself to the impacts of climate change ahead of a crucial United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which begins at the end of the month. This is especially true as Biden is struggling to get lawmakers to agree to multibillion-dollar measures to slow climate change, a key part of his national agenda.
Mental health impacts of overcoming a natural disaster
No nation offers asylum or other legal protections to people displaced specifically by climate change.
In February, Biden ordered his national security adviser to conduct a month-long study that included examining “options for protecting and resettling those displaced directly or indirectly by climate change.”
As part of the push on Thursday, the administration is also releasing the first-ever national intelligence estimate on climate change. National Intelligence Estimates are benchmarks created by US intelligence agencies that aim to inform decision making and analysis across government.
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