News Release

Global Climate Wall: How the World’s Wealthiest Nations Prioritize Borders Over Climate Action


TODD MILLER,, @memomiller
    In preparation for the United Nations climate change summit in Glasgow that started on October 31, the White House wrote, “The current migration situation extending from the U.S.-Mexico border into Central America presents an opportunity for the United States to model good practice and discuss openly managing migration humanely, [and] highlight the role of climate change in migration.”

    Author of the book Build Bridges, Not Walls: A Journey to a World Without Borders, Miller responded: “These sorts of statements have become normal for the Joe Biden administration, rhetoric that sounds nice for those concerned with immigrant rights, but divorced from reality and the policies of his administration, as well as strategies in place on the border for decades.”

    Miller co-wrote the new report “Global Climate Wall: How the World’s Wealthiest Nations Prioritize Borders Over Climate Action” for the Transnational Institute. He said: “We showed the United States — the world’s largest historic greenhouse gas emitter — has the world’s largest border and immigration enforcement budget. In this sense, the United States, along with other rich and historically high-emitting countries, have made a heavy investment in border regimes composed of walls, surveillance technology including drones, and armies of border guards, while neglecting commitments to climate financing for poorer and more ecologically vulnerable countries that would be dedicated to adaptation and creating resilience so people don’t have to migrate. The U.S. is spending eleven times more on border and immigration enforcement than on climate finance. In other words, there is no humane ‘managing’ of migration happening.

    “There were 1.3 million people displaced in Guatemala and Honduras due to drought, hurricanes, and floods in 2020—and if they come to the U.S. border they are facing the guns, gates, guards, and prisons. Like greenhouse gas emissions, global border fortification needs to be mitigated. As negotiations begin in Glasgow this week, this needs to be central to climate negotiations going forward.”

    Miller also just wrote the piece “Defund the Global Climate Wall” for The Border Chronicle.