The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Paris Agreement

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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After Paris, A More Fluid Approach To Climate Change?

On April 22nd leaders from over 175 nations joined together in New York to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change. AGWA's Secretariat Coordinator John Matthews joined with Regina Buono of the Baker Institute for Public Policy to write a piece for Forbe's on this historic occasion and what it means going forward.

"The agreement signaled a broad commitment to slow the rate of climate change and to provide support to many of the poor countries facing big climate impacts to their most vulnerable citizens. But what the Paris agreement really indicated is a shift in perspective: from a planet thinking about reducing the rate of climate change (and the regulatory and other risks inherent in managing businesses and economies with the primary objective of halting or slowing carbon emissions) to one looking at adapting to climate change by addressing the risks inherent in climate impacts. And the most important element in this shift—the medium through which change and adaptation can be seen most clearly and quickly—is water."

The full article is available here. Read More...
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Solicitation for expert nominees to attend IPCC Scoping Meeting on 1.5C Special Report

At its 43rd Session (11-13 April 2016 • Nairobi, Kenya), the IPCC decided to:
“… in the context of the Paris Agreement, [to] accept the invitation from the UNFCCC to provide a special report in 2018 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.”

The next step in the process is to convene a 3-day Scoping Meeting where experts and government representatives will develop an outline and work plan for this IPCC Special Report (SR) — to be held 15-17 August 2016, in Geneva. The outline will be approved by the Panel at its 44th Session in October 2016.

The U.S. Department of State is seeking nominations of Federal and non-Federal scientists with requisite technical background to contribute to scoping of the 1.5°C SR. Please refer to the broad disciplinary categories below for expertise sought by the IPCC. Read More...
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