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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new analysis of migration influenced by climate change calls for changes to U.S. immigration policy that enable more targeted efforts to address the topic.

The big picture: Climate change is already driving migration through flooding, drought and other effects, with more expected in the future, according to a brief from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Why it matters: "[C]limate migrants have little recourse within existing international frameworks and systems, or domestic U.S. law, that otherwise govern migration and forced displacement," CSIS notes.

  • That stems partly from the "difficulty of attributing climate change to human mobility as a singular — or even predominate — causal factor."

What they're saying: The report recommends ways that U.S. immigration policy could better deal with climate migrants and strengthen international efforts.

  • One of the ideas is that the Congress should create a new version of the Temporary Protected Status program "specifically for people temporarily displaced by climate change-related disasters."
  • Another idea is a "climate migrant resettlement program" for people permanently displaced by "rising sea levels, human heat thresholds, and/or agricultural tipping points."
  • The multilateral recommendations include a new Western Hemisphere regional compact on cross-border displacement, as a way to start "expanding the international legal architecture" on the topic.

What we're watching: Whether Joe Biden, if he wins, might weigh these or similar ideas.

What we don't know: The number of climate migrants, a tricky thing to count or even define.

  • The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center estimates an average of over 21 million people annually left home over the last decade due to storms, floods, droughts and other events, the report notes.
  • But parsing out the role of climate change in the displacement is tough.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to sign major climate orders, setting up clash with oil industry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden will sign new executive actions today that provide the clearest signs yet of his climate plans — elevating the issue to a national security priority and kicking off an intense battle with the oil industry.

Driving the news: One move will freeze issuance of new oil-and-gas leases on public lands and waters "to the extent possible," per a White House summary.

1 hour ago - Health

Florida records most new daily COVID cases in state since pandemic began

Nurses bring a portable x-ray machine to a treatment tent outside the emergency department at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida, set up to serve as an overflow area as the number of COVID-19 infections surges throughout Brevard County. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida reported 21,683 new COVID-19 cases — the most in the state in a single day since the pandemic began, per data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday.

The big picture: Florida is now the U.S. coronavirus epicenter, with the Delta variant driving a surge, Axios Tampa Bay's Ben Montgomery notes.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

Chart: Less than 0.1% of vaccinated Americans tested positive for COVID-19

Expand chart
Data: CDC and state Covid dashboards. Dani Alberti/Axios

Of the 164 million vaccinated Americans, around 125,000 people have tested positive for breakthrough infections and 0.001% have died, according to state data compiled from state dashboards by NBC and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: While "breakthrough cases" have been getting media attention, the low numbers show that the pandemic is mostly a threat for the unvaccinated population.

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