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.