• Mayors outline bold steps to accelerate global responses to the climate crisis and human mobility and call for governments and international donors to support city-led efforts. 
  • Funding commitment will support a new Global Cities Fund for Inclusive Climate Action in Africa.
  • Read this press release in French or Spanish.

Today, at the Bloomberg Green Summit on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, C40 Cities and the Mayors Migration Council (MMC) released the Global Mayors Action Agenda on Climate and Migration outlining bold steps to accelerate global responses to the climate crisis and human mobility.

The mayor-led agenda 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.

The Action Agenda was released by the C40-MMC Global Mayors Task Force on Climate and Migration, co-led by the Mayor Mohammad Atiqul Islam of Dhaka North, Bangladesh, and Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of Freetown, Sierra Leone. The C40-MMC Task Force was guided by a Statement of Principles, endorsed by mayors of Barcelona, Spain; Bristol, UK; Dakar, Senegal; Dhaka North, Bangladesh; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Houston, US; Lima, Peru; Los Angeles, US; and Milan, Italy.

The measures championed by mayors include investments to better adapt in place and reduce displacement; approaches to facilitate the dignified movement of those who live in risk-prone areas, preserving their assets, rights, and agency; increasing access for newcomers to urban infrastructure and services, regardless of migration status; and green and decent job creation programmes for urban migrants and displaced people.

Recognizing that putting people at the centre of climate action requires a global effort, C40-MMC mayors and their allies have also invited national governments and international donors to support their vision. Mayors call for commitments to “significantly increase planning for — and public and private investment in — urban climate adaptation, especially in low-income countries.” C40-MMC mayors are clear: nations must seize this moment to ensure that adaptation accounts for at least 50 percent of global climate flows and that these investments directly benefit frontline, vulnerable or marginalized urban communities.

This vision was immediately welcomed by leaders and donors around the world, including the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH (RBSG) which today announced a new $1,000,000 USD contribution in support of key priorities elevated by the C40-MMC Task Force. Specifically, this investment will launch a new chapter of the Global Cities Fund (GCF), originally established by the MMC to respond to the unmet needs of cities as they support migrants and displaced people during Covid-19.

At the Robert Bosch Stiftung, we recognize the growing urgency to address the intersection between climate change and human mobility and have made this a core strategic priority,” said Sandra Breka, CEO of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. “In response to the C40-MMC Task Force’s compelling advocacy, we are proud to partner with the Mayors Migration Council and C40 Cities to open a new chapter of the Global Cities Fund to support city-led initiatives on inclusive climate action in Africa.”

“Guided by the expertise of the C40-MMC Task Force, this next iteration shows once again that the best solutions are developed when we support the leaders of the places where some of the most creative and inspiring innovations are taking place: cities,” said Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities. “Today, we are sending a strong message to the world: mayors are at the frontline of climate and migration, and innovative funders are ready to support this important work.”

“We’re grateful to Robert Bosch Stiftung for betting on this cutting-edge work and helping us launch this new chapter for the Global Cities Fund,” said Vittoria Zanuso, Executive Director of the Mayors Migration Council. “We are excited to deepen our partnership with C40 Cities and continue to advocate for more funders to join the course, in order to expand the number of cities supported, as well as to other regions of the world.”

Today’s announcement comes at a critical inflection point for global action on climate migration as global leaders gather at COP26 and after US President Joe Biden issued a Report on the Impact of Climate Change on Migration, marking the first time the US government officially recognises the impact of climate breakdown on migration. The Report comes after C40-MMC Task Force Mayors Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Sylvester Turner of Houston, and other US mayors sent a joint letter to President Biden calling on his Administration to partner with cities to proactively plan for the impact of the climate crisis on migration at home and abroad. The Report responds to this call by committing to “scaling up support to urban areas to help localities plan for, accommodate, and integrate migrants and those displaced” and “build resilient urban systems.” The C40-MMC Task Force stands ready to continue to advise on the local dimension of U.S. climate migration policy and applauds this leadership on the global stage.

Report available at: Mayors Migration Council’s Climate Migration Hub and the C40 Knowledge Hub.

Mayoral quotes

“Our cities are deeply committed to promoting inclusive climate action that takes into account the needs of vulnerable groups, including migrants. The C40-MMC Action Agenda calls on national governments to join us in protecting the rights of those moving for climate-related reasons and fostering an inclusive green transition.” — Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona and C40 Vice Chair.

“To address climate and ecological breakdown and related migration, cities need sustainable and predictable resources for retrofitting our homes, for creating green jobs, and for investing in long-term sustainability. We are inviting donors and the private sector to work with us pro-actively to implement the principles of the C40-MMC Task Force, to make funding directly available to the cities now rather than tie up funds in bureaucracy.” — Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and MMC Leadership Board Founding Member.

“Extreme rainfall events are a significant hazard for our region, where thousands of people have been displaced due to rain flooding and where 60 percent of internal migrants in Senegal settle, often in risk-prone areas. The C40-MMC Action Agenda’s call for better municipal access to climate adaptation finance is critical for Dakar and other African cities at the forefront of the climate crisis and human mobility.” — Soham El Wardini, Mayor of Dakar.

“In Bangladesh, an estimated 2,000 people arrive in Dhaka daily, having migrated from other cities along a coastline that is increasingly affected by storms and rising sea levels. To manage this urban growth, the C40-MMC Action Agenda calls for better policy coordination across levels of governance and better access to international funding.” — Mohammad Atiqul Islam, Mayor of Dhaka North, C40 Vice Chair, and Co-lead of the C40-MMC Task Force.

“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 – not just within countries but across countries.” — Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown, MMC Leadership Board Founding Member, and Co-lead of the C40-MMC Task Force.

“We need to secure national and local government investment to better adapt in place and reduce displacement. But we must also facilitate the dignified movement of those who live in risk-prone areas, preserving their assets, rights, and agency. Through the C40-MMC Action Agenda, we will share, scale, and replicate successful approaches in Houston and other contexts.” — Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston.

“To address climate migration, we need a new global commitment to build local resilience and adaptation capacity, while including all regardless of their status. With our endorsement of the C40-MMC Action Agenda we call on national and international partners to work with us and create a new scenario for the future together.” — Jorge Muñoz Wells, Mayor of Lima.

“The climate crisis is a threat our residents confront on a daily basis, and our decisions as Mayors must account for the changing circumstances that can uproot people’s lives. As we continue to forge ahead in this make-or-break decade of climate action, we have to ensure that nobody is left behind — and this pledge reinforces our commitment to ensure that our cities are ready to welcome people displaced by climate impacts with open arms.” — Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, C40 Chair and MMC Leadership Board Founding Member.

“To promote a just transition to a greener and more inclusive economy, we need to acknowledge the intersection between climate change and migration, leveraging the power of city diplomacy to unlock resources, both for cities of origin, to avert displacement in the first place, and for cities of destination, to facilitate the inclusion of migrants in our local economy through green and just job creation.”— Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan and MMC Leadership Board Founding Member.

Read the full press release in English, French or Spanish.

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