As the Earth continues to warm, climate disasters are getting more extreme. In 2020, the impact was on vivid display with record-shattering wildfires in the western U.S. and the historic Atlantic hurricane season.
More than 8,100 wildfires have burned over 3.9m acres in California this year. The fires have killed 30 people, destroyed more than 7,500 structures, and displaced thousands in the state. Meanwhile in Oregon, half a million people were put under an evacuation order. The message from the visceral scenes unfolding in the western US is clear: climate displacement isn’t something that happens only outside of our borders. It has already begun in the US, and we can no longer turn our backs on the more than 20 million climate migrants worldwide.