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Deteriorating climate change requires that the United States do much more to track and protect refugees fleeing natural disasters, the Biden administration said Thursday in a series of grim assessments on the growing challenges facing the country as the world Hot.

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Separate assessments by US intelligence and defense officials underscored the escalation of global tensions and heightened threats to US security, and outlined a more dangerous world with more desperate leaders and people as temperatures rise. One, the first intelligence assessment of its kind on climate change, identified 11 countries of greatest concern, from Haiti to Afghanistan.

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A forest burns in the Carr Fire on July 30, 2018, west of Redding, California. (credit: Terre Sylvester via Getty Images)

report recommendation a series of steps: to do more to monitor floods or other disasters likely to create climate refugees, targeting US aid that could allow people to emerge out of droughts or hurricanes in their own countries, and with Congress is working to consider humanitarian visas and other protections for highly displaced people. Season.

It also urges the creation of a task force to coordinate US management of climate change and migration across government, from climate scientists to aid and security officials.

related: Climate change: US report targets economic risks from extreme weather

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says that every year, storms, failure of seasonal rains and other sudden natural disasters force an average of 21.5 million people from their homes around the world. The deteriorating climate from the burning of coal and gas is already accelerating a series of disasters, from towns spewing wildfires in California, rising seas ravaging island nations and escalating conflicts from droughts in parts of the world. .

“Policy and programming efforts taken today and in the years to come will impact estimates of people’s movement due to climate-related factors,” the report said. It was ordered by President Joe Biden and compiled recommendations from federal agencies across the government. “However, millions of people are likely to be displaced over the next two to three decades, largely because of the effects of climate change.”

The Biden administration is eager to brace itself for the effects of climate change ahead of a crucial UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, starting later this month. This is particularly so as Biden struggles to get lawmakers to agree to multi-billion dollar measures to slow climate change, a key part of his domestic agenda.

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No country specifically provides asylum or other legal protection to people displaced by climate change.

In February, Biden ordered his national security adviser to conduct a months-long study that included “options to protect and rehabilitate persons directly or indirectly displaced by climate change.”

As part of its push on Thursday, the administration released its first national intelligence estimate on climate change.

National intelligence estimates are benchmark documents maintained by US intelligence agencies intended to inform decision-making and analysis across government.

The estimate found that a warming planet could exacerbate geopolitical tensions, especially as poor countries grapple with drought, rising seas and other impacts while they wait for richer, higher-polluting countries to change their behaviour. Huh. Climate change is projected to “sharply increase the risk to America’s national security interests”.

The estimate identified 11 countries of particular concern: Afghanistan, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Myanmar, Nicaragua, North Korea and Pakistan. It also lists two areas of concern: central Africa and small island states in the Pacific Ocean.

Tensions on land and water can lead countries to conflict. In South Asia, much of Pakistan is dependent on surface waters from rivers originating from India. The two countries are nuclear-armed rivals who have fought several wars since their inception in 1947. On the other hand, about 10% of Bangladesh’s 160 million people already live in coastal areas vulnerable to rising seas and saltwater infiltration.

Intelligence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity under the agency’s rules, said climate change could indirectly influence counter-terrorism by pushing violent groups to seek food and shelter.

Officials said the intelligence community needs more scientific expertise and needs to integrate climate change into its analysis of other countries.

The United Nations says there could be more than 200 million climate-displaced people worldwide by 2050.

An average of 23 million people have been displaced by climate change every year since 2010, according to a World Meteorological Organization report released in April. About 10 million were recorded in the first six months of last year. Most went to their own country.

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Watson reported from San Diego.