Just one year after the launch of the C40-MMC Global Mayors Action Agenda on Climate and Migration at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), we are seeing more national support for local action, more donors investing directly in cities, and more city-level data on the impact of the climate crisis on migrants and refugees.
Here is a summary of key advancements on climate migration and cities from COP27, including funding commitments and gaps, key moments from mayors, and media.
Climate Migration at COP27
- National governments agreed to establish a loss and damage fund and recognized climate forced displacement as a form of loss. Negotiations on the fund’s delivery mechanism begin in 2023, offering an opportunity to push for a mechanism capable of supporting city-level action (COP27 Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan).
- Heads of State, mayors, and donors joined the first-ever Climate Mobility Pavilion, hosted by the Global Center for Climate Mobility. The Center launched an Africa Shifts Report with city-level climate migration data, and an Agenda for Action calling for more political agency, financing, and data for city-led responses to climate migration, following recommendations from the C40-MMC Task Force.
- Egypt launched the Sustainable Urban Resilience for the Next Generation (SURGe) initiative to unlock urban climate finance. The MMC endorsed the initiative and was recognized as a member of its Working Group on Building and Housing.
- The IPCC’s Summary for Urban Policymakers recognized the impact of the climate crisis on migration in cities and migration as an adaptation pathway.
- Increasing adaptation financing, a goal of the C40-MMC Task Force, failed and no commitment was reached on Egypt’s call for $40B per year for adaptation in developing countries. Just $230M was pledged to the Adaptation Fund. As of 2018, just 3-5% of adaptation finance reaches cities.
- The EU and France announced €16.6M for local climate adaptation and resilience projects in the Southern Mediterranean.
- The US pledged $5M USD to support climate-affected migrants, following recommendations from the MMC. The US also directed $150M to Africa for the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), which calls to address climate migration and increase financing for locally-led adaptation.
City Leadership on Climate Migration
- The MMC announced 6 new African city grantees of the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF) to deliver solutions for people affected by the climate crisis with new funding of $1.2M USD from the IKEA Foundation. The new grantees are Casablanca, Morocco; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; eThekwini (Durban), South Africa; Hargeisa, Somaliland; Nairobi, Kenya; and Nyamagabe District, Rwanda. The GCF is also supported by the Open Society Foundations, the Hilton Foundation, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
- Speaking at the Climate Mobility Pavilion, Mayor Cllr. Mxolisi Kaunda of eThekwini (Durban) said: “The Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees will be critical to … help our city better understand the needs of our displaced populations, and ensure essential public services are readily accessible by all, especially in the aftermath of future climate shocks.”
- Mayor Atiqul Islam of Dhaka North, MMC Leadership Board member and Co-Chair of the C40-MMC Task Force, represented the Task Force at the first Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change and the Human Settlements Day Programme run by the UN High-Level Climate Champions. He said: “While we welcome the establishment of the loss and damage fund at COP27, it is still unclear how this will work and how much financing will be available…Cities like Dhaka North are not only facing the direct effects of climate change…we are also addressing the devastating human cost of forced migration created by the climate emergency.”
- Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of Freetown, MMC Leadership Board member and Co-Chair of the C40-MMC Task Force, represented the Task Force at the Climate Vulnerable Forum with ministers of Bangladesh and Ghana, and at the French Pavilion, saying “it’s important that we have solutions for climate migration to make people more resilient where they are and less vulnerable when they go.”
- The MMC, ICLEI-USA, and the US Conference of Mayors held a session on US Cities Preparing for Climate Migration with the Mayors of Austin, Texas; Burnsville, Minnesota; Oakland, California; Commissioner of Travis Country, Texas; Councilmember from Phoenix, Arizona; and representatives from the Emerson Collective and the UN Migration Agency.
MMC In the Media
- Freetown Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and MMC Head of Practice Samer Saliba discuss barriers to city access to climate finance (Bloomberg).
- MMC Executive Director Vittoria Zanuso shares how European mayors like Mayor Giuseppe Sala of Milan are addressing the needs of climate migrants at home and abroad (Politico).
- Freetown Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja discuss climate migration in Africa and how they’re addressing it (Devex).
- MMC Executive Director Vittoria Zanuso urges the international community to invest in African city-led solutions to climate migration following the lead of the IKEA Foundation and Robert Bosch Stiftung (CNBC Africa).
- Bogotá Mayor Claudia López Hernández discusses the Climate Migration Council, a global coalition to address climate-related human mobility at all levels of governance (Univision).
- The IKEA Foundation’s $1.2M Global Cities Fund commitment will help six African cities support people displaced by the climate crisis (Smart Cities World).
- Dhaka North Mayor Atiqul Islam asks developed countries and international donors to support a climate adaptation fund for his city (Bangladesh Post).