The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

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Guest Blog | Summary of UNFCCC Fifteenth Standing Committee on Finance Meeting

This guest blog was written by Stephanie Lyons, Policy Analyst (Water Security and Climate Change) for WaterAid's Global Policy Team. Ms. Lyons represented the AGWA Policy Group at the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance meeting in Bonn, which took place March 7-9. The following report outlines future plans for the SCF in 2017 and beyond.

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The 15th meeting of the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) brought together the SCF’s member countries and observers to take forward its work in 2017. This was the first of two SCF meetings for 2017 (aside from the SCF Forum); the second meeting has been tentatively scheduled for 18-22 September 2017. An abridged summary of the SCF’s main agreements follows; detailed daily summaries are available from the Climate Finance Advisory Service and documented outcomes are available from the UNFCCC Secretariat.
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From Bonn to Marrakech - The Role of Water in Ongoing Climate Discussions

This guest blog was written by AGWA Policy Group members Maggie White (French Water Partnership) and Sofia Widforss (SIWI)

The "spirit of Paris" — transparency, inclusiveness and flexibility — was on everyone’s minds during the Pre-Cop meeting that took place in Bonn at the UNFCCC headquarters from 16-26 May. A sense of purposeful urgency was in the air. Participants sought to continue the positive dynamics of Paris that promoted involvement of all stakeholders, leaving "no one behind," and inciting countries to ratify quickly so that the Agreement could also enter into force earlier. "The world is looking upon us and we cannot disappoint it."

During the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) meetings, the constructive tone from Paris was present. An optimistic spirit was in the hallways — a willingness to build on the Paris Agreement (PA), albeit facing a complex process ahead. Shifting from an agreement-focus towards an implementation-focus, adaptation has replaced mitigation as the centre of attention. Water, as the key element mentioned in most Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and essential for adaptation measures, was mentioned in many different contexts (e.g., linked to sustainable business and agriculture, gender and human rights, as well as to funding). Read More...
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Ecosystem-based Adaptation Event at UNFCCC Climate Change Conference

On May 16, Conservation International held a side-event at the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, in partnership with IUCN, UNEP, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) titled “Ecosystem-based adaptation: a driving force for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement”. It sought to encourage discussion on how EbA can, and must, play an important role in achieving the Goals of these two global agreements, with presentations from all partners.

One of the key take-away messages was the sheer ubiquity of the role of ecosystems across sectors (e.g., food security, disaster risk reduction) in supporting the global goal on adaptation articulated in the Paris Agreement last December and in many of the 169 Targets comprising the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The role of nature is often unarticulated but is implicit and critical to the achievement of those Targets. Moreover, it is often through climate change-driven shifts in the availability of freshwater (too much and too little) that the role of ecosystems is manifest (e.g., in the context of "green infrastructure" and its potential to help people adapt to those changes). Hence, knowledge and innovation that helps guide public and private sector investments in water infrastructure will be key to achieving not only Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), but also in supporting Goal 2 (Zero Hunger), Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-being), Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and beyond.

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