Climate & Displacement
Climate change is making disasters more intense and more frequent. Sometimes disasters related to climate change – such as wildfires or hurricanes – strike instantly. Families lose their homes in a matter of minutes.
In other cases, the impacts of climate change add up over time. Years of unpredictable weather and failed harvests take their toll. Adapting to environmental changes becomes more difficult and more expensive. Some farmers and herders must migrate to survive--as we reaffirmed in a 2021 study with partner communities in five countries.
Leaving home should never be the only way to feed your family. CWS helps communities build resilience to climate change. If families leave home, it should be by choice, not out of desperation.
Most climate migration happens within a country’s borders, including in the United States. We must help people displaced within their home countries to live with dignity. We must also support cities to grow sustainably as rural-to-urban migration increases. And as climate change drives people across borders, we must offer safety and compassion. No matter what causes them to flee, everyone deserves dignity and a warm welcome. That’s why we advocate for the United States and countries around the world to plan humane responses now.
Moving Towards Resilience: A Study of Climate Change, Adaptation and Migration
Browse the videos below to hear from some of the people who participated in this research.
Georgia – Of course, the danger is growing.
Kenya – On top of it all, children are also hungry
Haiti – The soil can no longer produce.
Explore related work
COP 27: Finance Negotiations for Global Survival
Among 8 billion people on our planet, there are nearly 90 million that have been forcibly displaced – away from the place they called home, away from loved ones. This is more than at any other time in written human history. In many cases, forced displacement is a result of climate change as it wreaks havoc on critical ecosystems, access …
Letter: CMDP to Biden March 2021
Read the full letter CWS joined with 8 other organizations to send a letter to the Biden administration setting an agenda for how the administration should approach its report on policy options to address climate change and forced migration, as called for in a February EO from President Biden. The report is due to the president on August 3.
Building Resilience in the Face of Cascading Disasters in Kenya
In 2016 and 2017, many parts of Kenya suffered through long, ravaging droughts. In 2018 and 2019, climate change flipped this vicious cycle, and heavy rains wreaked havoc on many of the same areas. Among the affected areas was West Pokot County, in Kenya’s North Rift region. During the extended droughts, crops failed and livestock died. An increasing number of …