Joe Biden signed an executive order yesterday aimed at overhauling the US refugee resettlement program

El presidente electo Joe Biden habla el jueves 19 de noviembre de 2020 en el teatro The Queen, en Wilmington, Delaware. (AP Foto/Andrew Harnik)

Biden commissioned the report as part of a broader executive order. Report will include proposals for how the US might respond to global migration due to climate change.

Kayly Ober, climate displacement manager at refugees international, says she never thought that this would be a part of any American president’s priorities.’I am delighted and surprised,’ she says.

There are currently no policies that allow people who’s been displaced by climate-related disasters to apply for a Visa, green card, or refugee protections in the US. International institutions literally do n’t even have the words to tackle the issue.

An average of 21.5 million people are pushed from their homes each year because of climate-related hazards. That figure does n’t include people on the move because of the slower-moving consequences of climate change like drought and rising sea levels. The number of people seeking new homes as global temperatures rise is only expected to grow.

The US has contributed the most to the climate crisis since it’s emitted more greenhouse gases. For decades until the Trump administration, it accepted more refugees every year than any other country.

The US will offer refugee-like status to people who are displaced by climate change, says Ober.’it will allow other countries to take up their fair share of that burden as well,’ says Ober.

President Biden has signaled that climate change and immigration will be key priorities for his administration. There need to be real policies in place to impart the kinds of changes he talks about about. The US also needs to stop polluting so much in the first place if it wants to keep climate change from driving displacement.

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