18 November 2021 – Approximately 200 million people are expected to leave their homes due to climate change by 2050, with most of those displaced people moving to cities. Forced migration is the human face of the global climate crisis and cities are sanctuaries for many migrants. Cities in the Global North and South must work together to create sustainable, social and democratic homes for both residents and new arrivals alike.

In July, the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) launched the Call to Action “Climate Change, Cities and Forced Migration: Advancing Knowledge, Action and Collaboration” to raise awareness on climate displacement and build better data and knowledge regarding the intersection of climate change and migration to protect vulnerable groups. The Call to Action has been signed by more than 40 mayors together with city networks representing hundreds of cities and metropolitan areas around the world.

GPM Chair Mayor Peter Kurz (Mannheim, Germany) addressed the urgent issue of climate migration at COP26. We cannot look at these global challenges in silos. Cities are taking the lead on this important issue because city leaders have the capacity to affect real change on the ground. Cities in the Global North and South must collaborate to address the interlinked problems that force people to leave their homes, including climate change, lack of opportunity, and violence. National governments and multilateral institutions need to acknowledge the effective contributions by cities and to open their systems for equal participation and stand together with the cities.

Between February and June 2021 more than 75 mayors from around the world, representatives of city networks such as the Mayors Migration Council (MMC), and international organizations like the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UN-Habitat contributed to the dialogue on Climate Related Migration through panels, interviews, and Roundtables under the leadership of GPM Mayors Lowe (Banjul, the Gambia), Orlando (Palermo, Italy) and Rio (Braga, Portugal). The dialogue was part of the project “Uniting Mayors: Local Solutions to Global Climate Challenges” organised by the GPM in partnership with the British Council, and led to the mayoral Call to Action on Climate Migration.

The Call to Action identifies a coalition of city leaders committed to action in support of SDG 10 to reduce inequalities within and among countries, and SDG 13 to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Please click here for the Call to Action and the signatories.