The Global Mayors Action Agenda on Climate and Migration
At the Bloomberg Green Summit on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, the Mayors Migration Council and C40 Cities released the Global Mayors Action Agenda on Climate and Migration and outlined bold steps to accelerate global responses to the climate crisis and human mobility.
Climate migration and displacement are a reality today. Sea-level rise, crop failures, and record temperatures will drive an unprecedented movement of people. Globally, it is estimated that up to a billion people could be driven from their homes by 2050. If this happens, human civilization will not have experienced migration on such a scale in its history.
It is likely that those who leave their homes will settle in cities, which are already the primary destination of international and internal migrants and home to 70 percent of the world’s refugees, internally displaced persons, and stateless people.
This mayor-led agenda is the result of our work for presentation at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) in November 2021 in dialogue with national and regional counterparts.
It includes specific measures, already being delivered in many cities around the world, which must become the ‘new normal’ to deliver inclusive climate action that protects people most affected by climate displacement and intentionally includes them in the green and just transition.
It also presents our approach to the complex links between climate and migration in cities, the principles that guide our approach, and the actions we need global and international partners to take with us.
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone
85% of climate finance targets global north countries. If we want to address climate and migration, the majority of which occurs in Africa, Latin America and Asia, it is critical we focus on equity
Actions Needed from National Governments and International Institutions
C40-MMC mayors are already working to put people at the center of our climate action. We call on national and regional governments, central banks and international financial institutions, and international organizations to join us.
Our calls to action are:
Our calls to action are:
- Significantly increase planning for – and public and private investment in – urban climate adaptation, especially in low-income countries.
- Recognize migration as a form of adaptation when mitigation or in-place adaptation is no longer viable, incorporate migration-related considerations into national climate action strategies, and include migrants in disaster risk reduction and response.
- Recognize and address the protection needs of climate migrants and displaced people.
- Remove barriers and support communities in welcoming migrants and displaced persons.
- Invest in a green and just transition in cities to create secure and sustainable employment for all, including migrants and displaced people.
- Harness the skills and contributions of migrants and displaced people for the green transition.
Statement of Principles
Mayors of major cities across the globe deal with the realities of climate change and migration on a daily basis. This includes protecting residents from extreme heat, flooding, or other hazards; welcoming people displaced by climate impacts domestically or internationally; and promoting climate justice and leaving no one behind in the green transition. To date, mayors’ efforts have been delivered with limited resources and fragmented policy and financing regimes.
The C40-MMC Task Force commits to accelerate global responses to climate and migration and to govern our actions and advocacy by the following principles:
- Put people at the center of our climate action by protecting them from climate hazards and by leveraging our green and just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to create opportunities for all, especially the most marginalized.
- Promote inclusive and equitable climate action, recognizing that the climate crisis disproportionately impacts vulnerable and marginalized groups, including migrants and displaced people.
- Help people adapt in place or move away from hazard-prone areas in a way that preserves the assets, rights, and dignity of those who move, and is ecologically sustainable.
- Endeavor to welcome people moving or displaced into our cities, including for climate-related reasons, ensuring fundamental rights and equitable access to services regardless of migration or legal status.
- Deliver a just transition that provides good quality jobs to migrants and displaced people in our cities, including in the informal sector, and recognizes their contributions to greening our local economies and delivering climate action.
- Partner with migrants, displaced, and diaspora communities, listening to and amplifying their voices in our local policy-making and our national and global advocacy on climate and migration.
- Pursue and share data and information to help our cities and residents assess and reduce climate risks and increase resilience.
- Advocate for supportive national and international policies and direct funding to cities to meet and exceed the goals set in the Global Compacts for Migration and Refugees, the Paris Agreement, and other global agendas.
- Engage in multi-stakeholder partnerships to address climate and migration challenges, enhancing our efforts to cooperate with national governments, international organizations, civil society, and the private sector.
- Model behavior by investing our own city resources in inclusive climate action leading the way in planning, preparing, and responding to the impact of the climate crisis on migration now.