El Salvador. Honduras. Nepal. Nicaragua. Pakistan. These are countries that, over the past years, have been devastated over and over again by climate change-related environmental disasters. As people are forced out of their homes due to climate change, we are now at a crucial juncture to prevent the emergence of climate change refugees in neighboring nations and beyond.
Despite currently facing the brunt of the raging climate crises, many of the countries impacted emit far less global emissions that exacerbate global warming. But countries like the U.S. are the largest historical emitter of carbon dioxide–and therefore driver of the climate crisis. The United States emits 28% of carbon emissions despite having 5% of the world's population and is responsible for inflicting more than $1.9 trillion dollars in damage to other countries as a result of our carbon emissions.
As climate change-driven catastrophes continue to increase in frequency and intensity, directly impacting vulnerable populations around the globe, urgent action is required to ensure the protection of people displaced by climate change-driven disasters. And we can do that by building on existing U.S. law and policy and regional and international commitments.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was created to offer sanctuary to civilians fleeing civil wars and humanitarian disasters. TPS holders become invaluable members of our community and must become safeguarded from the relentless onslaught of climate change-induced catastrophic events.
After hearing from thousands of concerned US residents, the Biden Administration took a small step to protecting some of the climate migrants in this country. The Department of Homeland Services recently temporarily extended the TPS for immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua, who arrived before 2018. However, this temporary extension is not enough—and it leaves entrants from recent climate catastrophes uncovered, as well as Pakistanis, where a third of the country was affected by climate-chaos floods.
Sign the petition: The DHS should do more to protect ALL climate migrants.