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Communities Urged to Respond to Climate Migration Crisis
Kansas Ag Connection - 08/06/2020

Brendle Group, a sustainable engineering and planning firm, released Wednesday a 10-page white paper giving business and community leaders specific guidance on how to address the serious and complex issues surrounding climate-induced migration caused by rising sea levels, droughts and heat waves.

UN agencies, the World Bank and others forecast that by 2050 as many as 200 million people worldwide will be displaced by climate change impacts. Brendle Group's white paper, "International Climate Migration: What Can U.S. Communities Do?" explains this complex topic for local government leaders who are engaged in climate action planning and offers recommendations for locally based action.

"The paper provides a valuable overview of a complex and sticky challenge that sub-national governments are already managing on their own with very little guidance or institutional support from the federal government," said Anna Marandi at the National League of Cities.

Key messages in the white paper include:

- International climate migrants are already coming to the U.S., especially from Central America, where drought has decimated farming economies over the last five years.

- In the U.S., creating policies to accommodate climate migrants would require a significant shift in immigration politics. However, a proactive stance by U.S. cities, towns and counties can reduce human suffering while presenting opportunities for economic recovery.

- Local leaders can take actions now with an integrated approach to climate resiliency and refugee resettlement such as including climate migration as a topic in climate action planning; working with universities and nonprofits to survey recent migrants who departed their countries due to climate change; and building on existing "sister city" relationships to explore climate change impacts.

"Climate migration is a serious issue but is also an emerging field with room for hope and inspiration," said Judy Dorsey, president of Brendle Group. "Many U.S. communities are already innovators in responding to climate change, disaster displacement, and refugee resettlement. Building on these strengths, any community can benefit from a forward-thinking, inclusive, and compassionate stance on global climate migration."

Download the white paper at

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