This research focuses on the lively debate of more than 20 mayors and city leaders, from 19 countries, on the urgent issue of climate-forced displacement. Conducted as part of the Uniting Mayors: Local Solutions to Global Climate Challenges project, in partnership with the Global Parliament of Mayors, it looks at the level of awareness amongst mayors about the effects of climate-forced displacement and migration on their communities and the extent to which they are preparing to protect displaced communities and help receiving ones. It also proposes a toolkit to address the issue of climate-forced displacement.

Key insights

  • Climate-forced displacement is emerging as the human face of the climate crisis with a possible 200 million people affected by 2050; local leaders believe women, young people, the elderly, agriculture workers and those living in informal settlements or slums are most vulnerable to this issue.
  • While climate-forced displacement is a looming reality, it is yet to capture the international community’s attention; local leaders agree that climate-forced displacement and migration is not under serious discussion in their cities.
  • The lack of common definitions, international norms and policies gives mayors the chance to provide the necessary leadership to address local challenges related to climate-forced displacement and migration. 
  • Mayors and local leaders increasingly recognise the importance of the private and philanthropic sectors in driving climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Contributing to climate action

The British Council and the Global Parliament of Mayors are working together to empower city leaders, especially those from the Global South, to ensure their voices are heard amongst decision-makers on the global climate emergency. Through global online discussions, mayors have joined international organisations to discuss ways of moving forward – both in their own communities, to protect citizens from the threats of climate change, and together, by forming an international coalition to have a global impact. The result is a collective call to action, which represents an integral framework on how to accelerate climate-related migration, being presented at COP26.

Reinforcing COP26 priorities

The project focuses on the key role cities can play in addressing key climate issues, and strengthens collaboration and co-operation between the UK and other countries on finding shared solutions to the climate crisis. It supports inclusive climate action, by bringing together voices from the Global North and South to participate in the debate and to collaborate on shared solutions. 

Who’s involved?

This research is part of the Uniting Mayors: Local Solutions to Global Climate Challenges project – a partnership between the British Council and the Global Parliament of Mayors. 

Why the British Council?

The British Council can draw on its worldwide network, access and long history of international co-operation to convene decision-makers of all levels to work together to address the most pressing global issues. 


See also

External links