Research Report A Federal Policy and Climate Migration Briefing for Federal Executive and Legislative Officials
Carlos Martín, Alexander Williams
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Awareness is growing of the ongoing displacement, relocation, and migration of people and communities because of climate change’s effects within the US. That reality, and the public’s awareness of it, stands in stark contrast to the blind spots in federal policy. Disaster displacement assistance, buyout programs, and involuntary abandonment and resettlement dot a sparse federal landscape. A framework of shared principles for how the nation will prepare for, fund, and implement programs eludes us—especially a framework that equitably considers the people who move, the environments and communities they leave, and the places they go.

With Enterprise Community Partners, the Urban Institute hosted the Stakeholders Summit on Federal Policy for Climate Displacement, Relocation, and Migration on November 18 and 19, 2020, to discuss the challenges and opportunities for federal intervention. Participants addressed gaps in the federal response to displacement and migration within climate adaptation, with the goal of envisioning a new framework as climate policy evolves under a new presidential administration. This report and the four accompanying briefs below synthesize the discussions for the key stakeholder groups that participated in the summit. Each contains a summary of the federal policy recommendations and suggestions for each group’s involvement. 

Research Report


Research Areas Climate, disasters, and environment Immigrants and immigration
Tags Climate adaptation and resilience Environmental displacement and migration
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center