Scholarly Horizons: University of Minnesota, Morris Undergraduate Journal


“Climate Refugee” describes a person who is forced to leave their home or community due to changes to the local environment, such as rising sea level, drought, famine, or other side effects of climate change. A study from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimates that with the current rate of climate change, 250 million people will become climate refugees by 2050. Under the current global institutions, climate refugees are not granted legal refugee rights and there are no specific legal frameworks protecting them at the international or national levels. This paper will focus on refugee and immigration policy of the United State and make policy recommendations for the U.S. to implement in order to provide legal rights to climate refugees. Three policy ideas were analyzed in an attempt to understand different options and create the most realistic and appropriate policy recommendations.