Climate Migration in Urban Areas: Challenges, Representations and Inclusion

Related Sustainable Development Goals and Global Compact for Migration Objectives

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 13: Climate Action
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
GCM 16
GCM 23


Cities are at the forefront of two of the most pressing issues the world is facing today: climate change and migration. Cities represent more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions, many of them are also highly exposed to climate change and have to deal with climate change impacts on their territory. At the same time, cities are transformed by migration and, as the prime destination for migrants, they are key responders in migration governance, despite migration and asylum policies are decided at national level. Therefore, cities need to prepare and adapt to the impacts of climate change, but also with additional flows induced by climate change.

The objective of the project is to assist cities in their efforts to better understand how climate and environmental change will affect migration and urbanization trends, and to include these considerations in urban planning and key sectoral policies. In line with growing initiatives at the international level, in particular the Mayors Migration Council (MMC), the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Intercultural Cities Programme (ICC) of the Council of Europe, the project will contribute to guide and accelerate local, national, regional and global responses to climate change and to migration in cities as well as to support local governments in designing inclusive urban policies.

The project will be managed by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and implemented in partnership with the Hugo Observatory of the University of Liege. A partnership is also being sought with the Mayors Migration Council (MMC) and the C40-MMC Global Mayors' Task Force on Climate and Migration (C40-MMC Task Force), as well as with the Intercultural Cities Programme (ICC) of the Council of Europe. Partnerships will also be established with different cities, through the MMC and the C40-MMC Task Force and a collaboration will be developed with the City of Paris for the implementation of the pilot project.  

Key objective

The project consists of three pillars, in line with global and IOM’s priorities and pursuing the following objectives: 

I) Data collection and improvement of knowledge: to contribute to a better understanding of the impacts of climate change on inward and outward migration in urban areas, in order to inform urban planning and policies.

II) Inter-city dialogue and partnerships: to support inter-city dialogue and promote ambitious and accelerated action to address climate change and migration issues in cities.

III) Policy support: to assist cities in their efforts to include considerations relating to the impacts of climate change on migration in key sectoral policies, including adaptation, mitigation, disaster risk reduction and integration policies.  

More Projects