The British Council, C40 Cities-Mayors Migration Council Global Mayors Task Force on Climate and Migration (C40-MMC Task Force), the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM), and International Organization for Migration (IOM) joined together to host a side-event of the UN High Level Political Forum on climate change and human mobility on 6 July 2021.
The 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report revealed that land degradation is already negatively impacting the livelihoods and well-being of at least 3.2 billion people, while rising sea levels could submerge the homeland of 280 million people by the end of this century. These climate change challenges will reflect on internal and international population movements. While it is today widely recognized that environmental migration is complex and multifaceted, we also know that most people’s journeys will lead them to cities.
Cities deal with the realities of climate change and human mobility on a daily basis — from protecting residents from extreme heat and fires, flooding, and landslides, to welcoming people displaced by the effects of climate change domestically or abroad, to promoting climate justice and leaving no one behind in the green transition. It is in cities that the local-level implications on planning, service provision, and access to resources and opportunities —or lack thereof—will be felt most acutely.
Migration and climate change issues are core concerns for current and future sustainable development, which cannot be addressed in silos.
The side-event of 6 July served as a bridge between the review of SDGs 10 and 13, as well as related goals, like SDG 7 and brought together mayors, national government representatives, and multilateral organizations.