Climate change threatens to displace as many as 200 million people internally and across national borders by the middle of the twenty-first century. Indigenous peoples are among the most vulnerable to these changes. With the loss of their village rapidly approaching, the residents of the Native Village of Kivalina are captives in their homeland bracing for disaster because they do not have the millions of dollars needed to relocate and there is no government fund or process in place to provide them with adequate assistance.
Part I of this article describes the factual context of the Kivalina litigation and how the disappointing outcome in the Ninth Circuit's decision in this case sets the stage for the need for a climate change relocation fund. Part II examines existing sources of federal authority for relocation under U.S. law and how they could serve as a conceptual foundation for a climate change relocation fund. Part III considers comparative law perspectives on proactive relocation responses to impending natural disasters and the use of private sector financed climate change adaptation funds. Part IV proposes possible models for a climate change relocation fund in the United States and recommends that the availability of the fund be limited to federally recognized tribes.
Randall S. Abate, Corporate Responsibility and Climate Justice: A Proposal for a Polluter-financed Relocation Fund for Federally Recognized Tribes Imperiled by Climate Change, 25 Fordham Envtl. L. Rev. 10 (2013-2014)