As the world seeks to tackle the climate crisis, it is vital that we develop smart, humane policies to address the impacts of climate change on migration and displacement within countries and across borders. Climate change increasingly drives mobility and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities, requiring greater support for those on the move and their host communities. The 2021 White House Report on the Impact of Climate Change on Migration recognizes migration as an important form of adaptation to the impacts of climate change and in some cases, an essential response to climate and environmental based threats to livelihoods and wellbeing. The impacts of climate change are increasing the need to strengthen safe, orderly, humane, and regular migration management and to expand access to protection for displaced populations, stateless persons, and migrants in situations of vulnerability, with particular attention to accessibility, child protection, disability rights, gender equity, indigenous rights, and the needs of members of marginalized or underrepresented groups. Building on the White House report, the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) is expanding its efforts to address the impacts of climate change on migration and displacement. PRM’s climate change approach includes four principal objectives:
- Protection: Strengthen and expand protection of refugees, conflict victims, internally displaced persons (IDPs), stateless persons, and migrants in situations of vulnerability affected by climate change, including through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
- Partnerships: Enhance existing climate action by key humanitarian partners, including through regular dialogue with international and non-governmental organizations, and through engagement with affected populations. Promote the inclusion of refugees, conflict victims, IDPs, stateless persons, and migrants in situations of vulnerability in adaptation planning and programming.
- Multilateral Engagement: Expand U.S. multilateral diplomacy and leadership to address the impacts of climate change on migration and displacement in international fora.
- Coordination: Strengthen coordination between migration, humanitarian, development, environmental, and other technical agencies to advance U.S. policy and programming, including relevant data, in support of solutions for refugees, migrants in situations of vulnerability, conflict victims, and stateless persons affected by climate change.