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USA: Alaska villagers likely to be forced to relocate due to climate change after failed legal claims against fossil fuel firms

“Will these Alaska villagers be America's first climate change refugees?”, 9 Aug 2015

Scientists estimate that due to climate change, the village of Kivalina, in northwestern Alaska, will be underwater by the year 2025. In 2008, the Inupiat village sued 24 of the world's biggest fossil fuel companies for damages. In 2013, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case and the village has declared it will not file a new claim in state court. Meanwhile…the sea around Kivalina continues to rise, the storms get stronger, the ice gets thinner — and Kivalina's 400 residents must grapple with how to relocate in the decade they're estimated to have left…The village originally voted to relocate as far back as 1992, but it is massively expensive. Their court case against the fossil fuel companies sought damages to help pay for the residents’ relocation…Christine Shearer, who wrote about Kivalina's legal case in her book, Kivalina: A Climate Change Story, …[says] there are no policies in place to relocate an entire community, like Kivalina, prior to an actual disaster…

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