Some 250,000 evacuees from last year's Hurricane Katrina on the southern U.S. coast may never return permanently to their homes and should be considered "climate refugees," whose ranks could grow until global warming is mitigated, an environmental expert said.
The number of "climate refugees" will increase unless the world cuts the amount of greenhouse gases it releases, said Lester Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute in Washington.
"What we're looking at,” Brown said, “is the potential not of displacing thousands of people, but possibly millions of people as the result of rising seas and more destructive storms in the years and decades ahead if we don't move quickly to reduce CO2 emissions.”
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