Photo by John Matthews
Just six months after the signing of the Paris Agreement, Morocco and France have kept the promise made at COP21 to highlight water’s critical role when it comes to addressing climate change – including both the reduction of carbon emissions and adapting our societies to the climatic impacts that are now inevitable.
The key role that water plays in both adaptation and mitigation was acknowledged by the majority of countries that signed the Paris Agreement, as evidenced through the content of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). In fact, 83 percent of the NDCs that have been submitted highlight the importance of adaptation – especially in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Pacific-Asia – and 93 percent of the adaptation content refers to water as fundamental to effective adaptation programmes (1). It is beyond question that water is central to the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement.
It was therefore essential that just before COP22, the COP Presidency chose to support, promote and lead an event on addressing climate change in Africa specifically from a water perspective.
The International Conference on Water and Climate: water security for climatic justice (2) was co-organised on the 11-12th of July by the Government of Morocco, the Government of France, the World Water Council and with the support of the French Water Partnership. The event fell under the high patronage of his majesty the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, and was fully supported by the head of the Moroccan government. With over 600 participants in attendance, and more than 20 African ministerial delegations, the conference was a huge success in terms of building the much-needed political awareness of the role of water in the battle against climate change.