Confronting a Rising Tide: The Climate Refugee Crisis

House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will held a forum on climate refugees, titled “Confronting a Rising Tide: The Climate Refugee Crisis,” on May 17 at 2 p.m. on Capitol Hill.

By the end of this century, millions of Americans could become climate refugees. A study of U.S. counties vulnerable to sea level rise warns that if the coasts are not protected, more than 13 million Americans could become climate refugees by 2100. In Alaska alone, climate change flooding and shoreline erosion already affects more than 180 villages, 31 of which are in “imminent” danger of becoming uninhabitable. In order to alleviate the most extreme consequences of climate change, Federal, state, local and tribal governments must take immediate steps to mitigate climate change, introduce appropriate adaptation strategies, and limit the extent to which climate change exacerbates forced migration and displacement.