COP26 is the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties and is hosted by the United Kingdom in partnership with Italy. COP26 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it is now scheduled to take place in Glasgow, from 1 to 12 November 2021.

Climate Migration at COP26

What is happening at COP26?

COP26 represents a key political moment for states to reaffirm their ambition to fully operationalize the 2015 Paris Agreement. One major development is linked to states submitting new and updated national climate action plans (NAPs, NDCs). Parties are expected to put forward revised NDCs, containing details of climate change mitigation and adaptation action ahead of COP26. This is also the first COP following the USA re-joining the Convention, which is expected to create a positive political momentum to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The COP26 UK Presidency has defined four goals for COP26:

  1. Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
  2. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
  3. Mobilize finance to reach the commitment of $100bn in climate finance per year
  4. Work together to deliver and finalize the Paris Rulebook and accelerate action to tackle the climate crisis through collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society.

What is at stake in terms of climate migration?

Enhancing visibility on human mobility with UNFCCC Parties supported by climate science  
As in previous years, COP26 represents the opportunity to bring visibility to the climate migration nexus and advance discussions on the topic within the main intergovernmental forum dedicated to climate change policy and action. 
In the last decade, issues of migration and human mobility have increasingly been considered within the work of the UNFCCC and the annual COP meetings - with IOM’s active involvement - and they are now fully institutionalized with dedicated work streams under the UNFCCC, such as the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage Associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM).
The relevance of the climate-migration nexus is confirmed by contemporary climate science. For instance, the last three reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) make extensive and alarming references to the impacts of climate change on migration (IPCC Oceans and Cryosphere, IPCC Land Report and the IPCC 1.5-Degree C Special Report). 
The reports show that land degradation is already negatively impacting the livelihoods and well-being of at least 3.2 billion people, while sea level rise, associated with a 2°C warmer world, could submerge the homelands of 280 million people by the end of this century across the world – this could be reduced in a 1.5°C scenario. It is today widely recognized that environmental migration is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that can amplify existing vulnerabilities, but also allow people to build resilience. There is now increasing awareness that migration policy options should also be considered to tackle this issue. 
IOM is an Observer to IPCC and to WMO and has contributed with inputs to the IPCC reports, and contributes every year to the WMO Global and Regional State of climate reports. 
Building support for the operationalization of the Recommendations of the Task Force on Displacement   
After the establishment of the Task Force on Displacement in 2016 under the WIM, states adopted at COP24 in 2018 the recommendations made by the Task Force (Decision 10/CP.24) and the mandate of the Task Force was renewed. The Task Force developed a new workplan (Workplan Phase 2), with the extensive support of IOM. Carrying over these commitments will be an important engagement for the Parties of the WIM Executive Committee. 
The main entry points for IOM’s engagement at the moment are the work conducted under strategic workstream (d) of the five-year workplan of the WIM/Excom on enhancing cooperation and facilitation in relation to human mobility, and the work of the Task Force on Displacement. IOM is a founding member of the Task Force on Displacement. Ensuring coherence between the new workstream on migration and climate change of the UNNM and the implementation of the TFD recommendations is important for IOM’s engagement.


Key messages on Migration and Climate Change

International Organization for Migration EN | FR | ES | RU               


Young boy standing on a boat Iconography of the globe with hands around and people below

 PDD Key Messages  COP26 Advisory Group



Click on each photo and read the Key Messages for COP26 from the United Nations Network on Migration, the Platform on Disaster Displacement, the Advisory Group on Climate Change and Human Mobility.


Migration, Environment and Climate Change Events at COP26



and Location




Event Format

During COP duration  Virtual One UN Exhibition Space "On the Climate Frontlines with Displaced People & Migrants: Averting, Minimising & Addressing Loss & Damage" The exhibit will bring together the latest knowledge, materials and perspectives from UN agencies, NGOs partners and community led organisations working to advance progress on the topic of human mobility, adaptation and loss and damage. 

Lead organizations: IOM, UNHCR             

Supporting organizations: ILO, UNICEF, WFP, OCHA, OHCHR, UNEP


Delegates only

3 November 


"Leading by Example - Greening Governments, UN and other Public Sector Organisations" UN Greening the Blue, Greening Government Initiative and Global Platform of Action for Sustainable Energy in Displacement Settings (GPA) UN Greening the Blue, Greening Government Initiative, Global Platform for Action on Sustainable Energy in Displacement Settings Virtual only

4 November 


Moving forward: presenting the work of the WIM ExCom and its five expert groups  WIM Excom Outreach Event showcasig updates from all expert groups of the WIM Excom, including TFD implementation. UNFCCC Secretariat Hybrid

4 November

15h00 pm 

Bangladesh pavilion

"Loss and Damage of Internal Displacement of Bangladesh" Climate change-induced internal displacement/ migration.  Lead organizer: government of Bangladesh, Supporting organizations: IOM, IFRC Hybrid

4 November

18h15- 19h15 

Health pavilion/Green Zone 

"Climate change, health and migration: Transforming tomorrow – a call to action"  This event calls for acknowledgement, reflection, and action at the nexus of climate change, health and migration. Lead organizations: WHO, IOM, Lancet  Hybrid

6 November

Blue Zone (TBC)

"Effective practices & perspectives of actors across sectors in regions vulnerable to climate change" Taking stock of progress made to address climate change-related displacement in recent years: Effective practices and perspectives of actors across sectors in vulnerable regions; Opportunities and challenges ahead Progress including under the UNFCCC WIM Task Force on Displacement. Lead organizations: NRC, COAST Trust, AOSED, RAED     Hybrid

6 November


Advancing a human rights based approach to climate action for people and planet Transparency, inclusiveness and accountability lie at the core of a rights-based approach to climate action. Rights-holders must be empowered to participate and hold duty-bearers accountable. This event explores entry points and good practices for rights-based action aligned with the SDGs.

Leading organization: OHCHR                         

Supporting organizations: ECLAC, IOM, UNECE, UNEP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO and WIPO

8 November       
11h30 -12h45

Getting ahead of climatic disasters: Know, Predict, Warn, Act


To address the intensifying impact of climate change, acting ahead of disasters and extreme events is an imperative. The event will profile transformative solutions for addressing underlying risk drivers, early warning systems, and anticipatory action to save lives and assets, and build resilience.

Lead organizations: OCHA, UNDRR, WMO    

Supporting organizations: 1. FAO 2. IOM 3. ITU 4. UN Climate Action Team 5. UN Women 6. UNDP 7. UNEP 8. UNFCCC 9. UNHABITAT 10. UNOHRLLS 11. UN-Water 12. WFP


8 November 


UK Loss and Damage event  Bangladesh Focus UK Government Hybrid

8 November 


Green Zone

"Addressing Migration Driven by Disasters, Climate Change and Environmental Degradation in West Africa – An Opportunity for GCM and Paris Agreement Implementation, Regional Integration and Partnerships" IOM event focusing on MECC action in West Africa West African Government  Hybrid

9 November 

10h00 -11h00 

French pavilion, Blue Zone

"Changement climatique, migration et santé : des défis interconnectés pour le 21e siècle"


Cet évènement vise à rassembler un panel de haut niveau pour débattre de l’interdépendance des enjeux liés au changement climatique, à la migration et à la santé.  Lead organizations: IOM, WHO, The Lancet In person

9 November


Launch of NORAD project

Read the press release

Loss and Damage, Santiago Network, LDCs PDD (lead)  

9 November 


The Health Argument for Climate Action: The COP26 Health Programme The objective of this event is to raise awareness and support for wider COP26 Health Programme. Health has been chosen as a COP26 science priority area. The COP26 Health Programme has been established to bring stronger health focus and ambition to COP26. 

Lead organization: WHO       

Supporting organizations: OHCHR – IOM - UNECE - UNRRD – UNHABITAT- UNICEF- WMO (to make connections with human rights/migration/air pollution/urban health/children and risk reduction/ met services)


10 November 


French pavilion, Blue Zone

"Les migrations et les déplacements à l’ère de la crise climatique :  enjeux et stratégies politiques et opérationnels au niveau mondial, en Afrique de l’Ouest et au Sahel" Cet évènement s’inscrit dans le cadre de la vice-présidence française de la Plateforme sur les déplacements liés aux catastrophes (PDD), et dans la continuité du travail collaboratif engagé entre l'OIM, le HCR et la PDD sur ces questions, notamment en Afrique de l'Ouest.

Lead organizations: IOM, UNHCR 

Supporting organizations:  PDD, France 

In person

10 November


MDB Pavilion

Migration and Climate Adaptation European Investment Bank side event Migration Policy Institute and the Inter American Bank  

11 November


Blue Zone / EU Pavilion

“From Science to Policy and Action: Human Mobility in Times of Climate Change” Showcasing effective practices and opportunities to avert, minimize and address climate change-related displacement and human mobility in the Pacific. Emerging lessons from two regional projects (PRDD and PCCMHS) in the Pacific will be presented as tangible examples that could be replicated in other regions. Co-lead organizations: UNESCAP, Fiji, PDD, IOM, IDMC Hybrid


* GMT Time Zone