Road to COP28: Reviewing Migration Narratives on Social Media during COP27

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Authors: Bia Carneiro, Giulia Tucci and Ibukun Taiwo (CGIAR Focus Climate Security, The Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT) 

With COP28 on the horizon, anticipation is building among policy makers, researchers, and the climate action community. Reflecting on the discourse from last year’s COP27 offers valuable perspectives on how issues can be framed and addressed this time around. CGIAR’s Initiative on Fragility, Conflict, and Migration (FCM) aims to generate evidence to address the challenges of compound crises in fragile and conflict-affected settings. This includes understanding the implications of climate change to mobility and displacement.  

COP27 took place between November 6 and 18, 2022, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Taking Twitter (currently X) as a central platform where governments, international organizations, the media, and civil society discuss, and sometimes debate, issues of public interest, the Digital Innovations team of CGIAR Focus Climate Security collected more than 2.5 million tweets featuring the #COP27 hashtag to unpack the pressing issues at the conference. Within this large corpus of tweets, we wanted to zoom into how migration was represented. To find relevant content, we developed a migration-specific taxonomy with 149 migration-related terms, distributed across 10 categories. 


From a body of 390 thousand unique tweets, quotes and replies (retweets were excluded to focus on original content), we identified just over 2,500 posts containing terms from our migration taxonomy. As United Nations Climate Change Conferences are focused on the climate crisis, it is expected that most content will broadly cover migration in relation to climate, as seen in the first infographic, which shows general migration terms detected in 35% of tweets. However, it is notable that within this discussion, displacement is highly debated, appearing in more than a quarter of posts that acknowledge the effects of climate-induced shocks to forced relocation, and recognize the urgent need to enhance climate resilience. The second infographic provides examples of the most popular tweets, by category. 


The first infographic also shows which countries were mentioned in the text of the tweets.  

While the COP27 host, Egypt, is the most mentioned, several countries that have been affected by climate events that have impacted mobility patterns such as rising sea levels, floods, and droughts are highlighted in the discussion, for instance, small island nations, Pakistan, and Somalia, respectively. In all these cases, the average sentiment of the respective tweets is negative, indicative of the adversity faced in these locations. At the same time, responsibility of the Global North has also been called out in these conversations, notably in relation to both climate justice and to migration policies.  

What can we expect to see differently in COP28  

In anticipation of COP28, the CGIAR Focus Climate Security is aiming to push the agenda around displacement and mobility to the forefront of the discussions. Within the context of the CGIAR Initiative on Fragility, Conflict, and Migration, we believe the rising concern for climate-driven displacement will lead to an enhanced focus on strengthening the resilience of food, land, and water systems in fragile and conflict-affected settings, where migration-related challenges are prevalent.  

On November 15, we hosted a climate security webinar on the benefits of climate adaptation on disaster-related displacement. The session featured insights from experts who shared a range of global experiences and success stories. These discussions aimed to provide guidance on customizing and fortifying policies and programs, with the overarching goal of supporting communities in navigating the escalating risks posed by climate change.   

We expect to see more emphasis on migration and displacement at COP28, with 3rd of December thematically dedicated to Health/relief, Recovery and Peace. Refugees and internally displaced people’s (IDPs) concerns are not sufficiently represented in UNFCCC processes, and it is difficult, for those most vulnerable people, to benefit from climate finance and climate action in general. To address these gaps, we are co-organizing three side events: 

Bridging the Science-Policy Gap: Adaptation Solutions for the Climate, Peace, and Security Nexus 


Partners: CGIAR Initiatives – Fragility, Conflict, and Migration (FCM), Climate Resilience (ClimBer), AgriLAC Resiliente, Livestock and Climate (LCSR) 




This roundtable brings together stakeholders to address obstacles in using evidence for decision-making. It highlights innovative tools, including the CGIAR Climate Security Observatory, to bridge the science-policy gap and effectively integrate peace and security into adaptation planning, implementation, and evaluation practices. 



Implications of Climate-Related Mobility for Peace and Security 

Partners: CGIAR, IOM, UNHCR 




This CGIAR MENA Regional Climate Security Hub event delves into the interplay of climate change, peace, and human mobility, especially in rapidly urbanizing areas facing the climate emergency and internal migration. Focused on MENA, Central America, and the Horn of Africa, the session explores innovative approaches like CGIAR’s Fragility, Conflict, and Migration Initiative and IOM-led skilled migration partnerships. 


Climate Finance meets Conflict Sensitivity: Discussing New Tools for Integrated Climate Security Programming in the Green Climate Fund 

Partners: CGIAR, Green Climate Fund, Interpeace 



This panel session will explore the intersection of climate change and socio-political challenges, emphasizing strategic climate investments. Stakeholders, including Interpeace, discuss the crucial role of conflict sensitivity and unveil tools for proactive decision-making in conflict-prone areas. 


Event Page Link: CGIAR at COP28



Photo Credit: The Play Room, Flickr

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