On April 22, 2021, as President Joe Biden convened the Leaders Summit on Climate, mayors from across the United States called on him to support local governments in preparing for and responding to the impacts of climate change on migration and include their voices in US climate migration policy at home and abroad.
Mayors deal with the realities of climate change and migration on a daily basis—from protecting residents from extreme heat and fires, flooding, and landslides; to welcoming people displaced by climate impacts domestically or abroad; to promoting climate justice and leaving no one behind in the green transition.
Released on Earth Day and on the sidelines of US Climate Action Week, the letter below is a response to the President’s Executive Order on climate migration, “Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration.” It informs the Biden-Harris Administration that climate-related migration is a priority area for local leaders with national and global implications and requests the Administration consult with US cities and localities when crafting its forthcoming report on climate migration and implementing its resulting policy. It is endorsed by key city-led organizations—the Mayors Migration Council, Welcoming America, Cities for Action, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and United Cities and Local Governments.
Editor’s note: The open letter to President Biden can be accessed at the Mayors Migration Council: https://www.mayorsmigrationcouncil.org/biden-climate-eo