Climate Change and Migration

As climate change progresses, migration is a growing problem. Communities impacted first and most harshly are often those who have access to the fewest resources. This page serves as a guide for donors who want to act quickly, focus on equity, and address the root causes of climate change and displacement.

What Is Climate Migration?

Climate change and related consequences, including intensified and increasingly frequent disasters, force people out of their homes and communities, creating climate migrants. According to the UN Refugee Agency, the impacts of climate change already cause an average of more than 20 million people to leave their homes and move to other areas in their countries each year.

Global Climate Migration

Climate-induced displacement looks different everywhere. Natural disasters, drought, and famine can all cause migration and exacerbate political instability and conflict, which also cause people to move from their communities.

Climate Migration in America

Hurricanes, wildfires, drought, flooding, and other disasters have been increasing across the U.S. In recent years, two major hurricanes and California wildfires caused more than 1 million new displacements, according to a 2019 Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre report. Without action, we can expect this trend to continue.

Addressing Climate Migration

Climate migration solutions can be implemented globally and locally. Policy shifts around climate emissions and immigration can be complemented by local efforts to support climate change resilience and climate refugee resettlement.

Give: Climate Change Organizations

Donors can follow several paths to climate solutions. First, give to organizations that address the root causes of climate change. Second, invest in mitigation and adaptation efforts to help insulate communities from the effects of climate change. Third, support disaster relief efforts to address the acute needs of climate refugees and would-be climate refugees. Finally, fund nonprofits that support effective re-homing and societal integration efforts for immigrants and refugees. [Note: Organizations are sourced through trusted partners and networks that align with our core tenets. Read our vetting criteria.]