New name, same mission! LIRS is becoming Global Refuge. Learn more.

New name.
Same mission.

LIRS is now Global Refuge.

Welcoming newcomers since 1939.

See Our Evolution

The browser you are using is not supported. Please consider using a modern browser.

Skip Navigation
Donate
Start of main content.

Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

Global Refuge Calls for Climate Displacement Solutions on Earth Day

Global Refuge logo

Global Refuge Staff

April 21, 2021

Contact: Timothy Young | timothy.young@globalrefuge.org | 443-257-6310

Washington D.C. – 51 years after the inaugural Earth Day, where 20 million people took to the streets to demonstrate for environmental protection, the impacts of climate change continue to worsen.

The climate crisis will increasingly affect human beings in profound ways – notably through the large-scale displacement of individuals, families, communities, and in some cases, entire nations. Despite escalating climate change-fueled hurricanes, mega-fires, and prolonged droughts projected to displace up to 340 million people over the next 30 years, there exists no legal framework to allow those displaced by climate change to apply for humanitarian protection.

Global Refuge calls on the U.S. government to take bold action to mitigate future damage and protect those who inequitably suffer the consequences of climate disasters. The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Global Refuge:

“Climate change is no longer a distant threat. It has emerged as destructive a force as war, violence, and persecution. After decades of failing to act, we now face the reality that an alarming proportion of migration is driven by climate. While we cannot prevent all of the cascading climate impacts around the globe, we, as the largest historical emitter of carbon pollution, must take responsibility for it.

Both short-term and long-term migration solutions must be designed. For those temporarily displaced by a sudden onset disaster, the Administration and Congress should leverage options like Temporary Protected Status. For those whose homelands disappear or become uninhabitable, permanent solutions like refugee resettlement, will be especially critical.

We commend the Biden administration for its executive order on climate change and migration, which requires the exploration of resettlement options for the climate-displaced. We urge President Biden to act on those findings and pioneer the world’s first legal framework to protect children and families who have lost their only home to the climate crisis. It’s not only in our national security interest; it’s our moral responsibility.”

More resources at lirs.org/climate

The Latest

  • Press Release

    February 15, 2024

    HHS: Refugees & Asylees Generate $123.8 Billion Net Fiscal Benefit

    "This study demonstrates that refugee resettlement is firmly within our national interest, both in terms of maintaining our global humanitarian leadership and bolstering federal, state, and local resources."

    Read More
  • Press Release

    February 15, 2024

    White House Designates Deferred Enforced Departure for Palestinians

    "The DED designation offers much-needed support and protection to Palestinians living in our country at a time when their homeland is going through so much tumult. The ongoing conflict makes returning unsafe for the foreseeable future, so this decision demonstrates the Biden administration’s commitment to our nation being a global humanitarian leader during times of crisis.”

    Read More
  • Press Release

    February 4, 2024

    Senators announce bipartisan immigration legislation

    Global Refuge responds to bipartisan legislation concerning immigration policy, which has been tied to an emergency supplemental foreign assistance bill.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    January 29, 2024

    Global Refuge responds to President Biden statement on immigration negotiations

    Global Refuge is deeply troubled by President Biden’s statement on bipartisan senate negotiations concerning immigration policy, touting “a new emergency authority to shut down the border."

    Read More
  • Press Release · Community Engagement

    January 17, 2024

    Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service rebrands as Global Refuge

    Global Refuge, formerly known as Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, has welcomed refugees since 1939 and seeks to build a bigger table of supporters amid unprecedented humanitarian crises.

    Read More

Share