White House — The United States must accommodate millions of refugees who will be forced to flee disasters and other effects of a changing climate, according to a task force report released Wednesday.
Study, under the auspices of Refugees International, which advocates for displaced people around the term, argues that the United States, as the traditional biggest carbon emitter, “has a special position to lead on issues of climate change, migration, and displacement.” responsibility.”
According to I, by the year 2050, due to the changing climate, 200 million people worldwide will need humanitarian aid annually.international organization of migrationwhich is part of the United Nations system.
ecological hazard register, created by the Australia-based Institute of Economics and Peace, projects that up to 1.2 billion people worldwide could be displaced by the middle of this century.
“Thousands of communities from Haiti and Honduras to Bangladesh, Burkina Faso and both the Global South and Global North need policy solutions today, as both slow and sudden onset disasters are becoming more frequent and intensifying and moving towards longer duration. There are displacements around the world,” says the task force, which is made up of prominent former US government and UN officials, leaders of non-governmental organizations and climate experts.
“People displaced by the disaster are receiving inadequate support on several important issues such as sustainable shelter, planned rehabilitation and alternative livelihoods,” the report said.
“The task force believes the Biden administration should acknowledge the reality of climate-related migration and offer new forms of protection and support for people displaced by climate change,” said Kelly Ober, senior advocate and said the program manager of the Climate Displacement Program in Refugees. International.
The task force is recommending to the US government that “people forced to migrate because of climate change may face special risks of return in many cases that would amount to persecution” under the 1951 multinational treaty. defined under who is a refugee.
US Democratic Senator Edward Markey is pushing for legislation that would protect people fleeing climate change-related incidents who do not fit the narrow definition of “refugees” under international law.
in one executive Order In February, US President Joe Biden directed National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to investigate how to identify and rehabilitate people displaced by climate change.
“We are actively working on a report for the President on climate change and its impact on migration, including forced migration, internal displacement and planned relocation, and expect the final version, or summary of it, to be made public by the fall. Will be done,” a senior administration official told VOA.
opposition to resettlement proposal
There is sure to be backlash from conservative lawmakers and groups opposing liberal immigration reform.
The US immigration system is “already in a state of collapse” with more than 1.3 million pending asylum cases, and “inviting untold millions to seek refugee status based on claims of damages as a result of climate change, or Getting here and claiming asylum” predicted the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s media director Ira Mehlman, “the system will be completely collapsed.”
Climate change “cannot be addressed by advocacy group-driven efforts to engage in mass resettlement of people in the United States,” said Mehlman, who opposes the task force’s proposal. Our ability to address the root causes of climate change will be further hindered. Large-scale, migration-driven population growth will make it nearly impossible for the United States to meet the targets set for the reduction of CO2 and other harmful emissions.”
Another organization’s founder also expressed concern over wanting stricter limits on immigration into the United States.
Roy Beck said, “Of all forms of migration, refugee resettlement has had the most negative impact on the ability of low-skilled Americans – disproportionately a minority – to find jobs and reduce the wages of those who retain their jobs.” But,” said Roy Beck. Founder of the anti-immigration group NumbersUSA.
Beck said that priority should be given to adjacent countries or those in the same region, but the task force suggests the US would be “a destination for the entire world, making the lack of a numerical cap in the proposal particularly problematic.”
NumbersUSA leaders are also concerned about the impact of the temporary security situation for people who are displaced by disasters triggered by the effects of climate, as the task force proposes.
“It will continue the corruption of the program’s purpose, which already threatens to lose the support of the American people so that America has a real and manageable need to provide relief for as many disasters as possible, but only if the relief is genuine.” In is temporary,” Beck said.
Biden had previously announced that the United States intends to double its annual public climate finance for developing countries and triple public finance for climate adaptation by 2024, the country that was the second half of former President Barack Obama’s administration. (which was in office from 2009 to early 2017).
Biden’s request for a $2.5 billion 2022 fiscal year for international climate programs is “very significant, but still short of the amount that climate experts advocated for”, according to the task force, which wants the US Reduce the foreign aid budget. For international programs dealing with the risk of climate-related disasters and climate adaptation.
According to the report, there is a gap of $2.5 trillion in resilience infrastructure globally.
Advocates like Ober at Refugees International are optimistic that the Biden administration will help bridge that gap, saying, “It has already shown a good faith effort to really dig into these issues, and in fact, its This is the first of its kind administration. has really set a high bar for addressing climate change and migration issues.”