The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water


The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) will take place in Katowice, Poland from 3-14 December 2018. Poland will hold the Presidency of the Climate Convention for the third time.

The central aim of COP24 will be to finalize and adopt a package of decisions ensuring full implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which was the product of COP21. COP24 will also include the Facilitative Dialogue intended to support implementation of countries' Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

In addition to the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties, COP24 will include meetings of other UN bodies and frameworks such as the CMP, SBSTA, SBI, and CMA.

"Our fate is in our hands. The world is counting on all of us to rise to the challenge before it is too late."

- António Guterres
UN Secretary-General

Position Papers & Policy Briefs

The Policy Group continues to push for greater integration of resilient water management approaches within the global climate change agenda. The Policy Group is preparing several policy briefs as well as a Global Water Forum white paper, this year focused on linking climate change and DRR policies through adaptive water management. These are set to be released around the start of the COP so please check back on this webpage in the lead up to the event.

Conference Venues

The events of COP24 will be spread across two adjacent venues, both of which are located in the city center of Katowice, Poland:

  • The International Congress Centre (MCK) will accommodate plenary halls, conference rooms, press conference and media rooms, as well as the COP24 Presidency and secretariat offices.
  • The Spodek Arena will host the official media area, exhibits, as well as catering facilities.
More details on the COP24 venues and surrounding facilities can be found on the official COP24 website at

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MCK & Spodek Arena


COP24 will feature hundreds of official and unofficial events. Below we are highlighting events that emphasize the importance of water in the climate negotiations. AGWA, SIWI, and Policy Group members are contributing to a number of these. Others are organized by various members of the water community.

AGWA has been involved in the planning processes with the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (GCA). The GCA will conduct a series of events during COP24, including High Level Action Events, roundtables, and more. Their calendar of events is available online.

The official COP24 programme of side events has not yet been published. It should be released on Poland's COP24 website soon (
Quick Links (jump to date):
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Monday, 3 Dec.
Tuesday, 4 Dec.

High Level Global Climate Action Event

The objective of the High Level event on Global Climate Action is to strengthen high-level engagement on the implementation of policy options and actions; provide an opportunity for announcing new or strengthened voluntary efforts, initiatives and coalitions; take stock of related progress and recognize new or strengthened voluntary efforts, initiatives and coalitions and provide opportunities for the effective high-level engagement of dignitaries of Parties, international organizations, international cooperative initiatives and non-Party stakeholders.

When: Tuesday, 4 December; 10:00-11:30
Venue: TBD
Organizers: Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (GCA)

The Role of Water in Achieving Climate Neutrality

This side event focuses on opportunities within the water management sector to achieve climate mitigation objectives including carbon sequestration, GHG emissions reduction, and the protection of carbon sinks.

When: Tuesday, 4 December; 13:15-14:45
Venue: Room 6
Organizers: UN Water

Shocks and Stressors: Water’s essential role in addressing climate change, DRR and human mobility

Disaster risk reduction and recovery efforts are profoundly influenced by climate change, but the DRR and climate communities remain divided. This session will feature speakers from the climate and DRR communities, as well as positive examples of on-the-ground work that is already being done to link these policies in practice, along with recommendations for scaling-up and expanding efforts.

When: Tuesday, 4 December; 11:30-13:00
Venue: Room 3
Organizers: AGWA, SIWI, World Water Council

Water and Climate: How to Increase Engagement of Private Actors

Private actors’ commitments are the key driver to mitigate social and economic impacts of climate and water-related disasters. This event will discuss the incentives and measures to enhance their engagement/performance, and share good practices from the Asia-Pacific, European and other regions.

When: Tuesday, 4 December; 15:00-16:30
Venue: Room 6
Organizers: Japan Water Forum, Neighbor Organization Nepal (NEO-Nepal)
Wednesday, 5 Dec.
Thursday, 6 Dec.
Friday, 7 Dec.

MPGCA High-Level Water Action Event: Water-wise solutions to mitigate, adapt and thrive

This year’s water event is divided into two segments, the first focused on water solutions for resilient and coherent NDCs, and the second on water’s role in private sector innovation addressing climate change and sustainable consumption and production targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Both are designed to showcase tangible solutions that Parties can use to enhance their NDCs ahead of 2020 and improve the cross-sectoral coherence of their climate plans and activities.

When: Friday, 7 December; 15:00-18:00
Venue: Global Climate Action Arena
Organizers: GCA, SIWI, AGWA

Getting Specific – The Relevance of Wetland Ecosystems for increasing NDC Ambitions

The German Pavilion is planning to host an event focused on carbon sinks / wetlands at the COP this year. In line with the 2017 BMZ Water Strategy and its interlinkages on climate change, the event aims to highlight the relevance of wetland ecosystems for both climate change adaptation and mitigation, while addressing their importance for increasing NDC ambitions.

When: Friday, 7 December; 14:15-14:45
Venue: German Pavilion
Organizers: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Water and climate challenges: time to finance actions!

Societies are affected by climate change & extreme weather events via the water cycle (surface & groundwater): droughts, floods & desertification threaten water, food & energy security. We will showcase solutions for adaptation & mitigation in the water sector (information, governance & financing).

When: Friday, 7 December; 11:30-13:00
Venue: Room 5
Organizers: International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO), Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel (OSS), French Water Partnership (FWP)
Saturday, 8 Dec.

MPGCA Cross-cutting Roundtable on Finance: Mobilising climate-aligned finance

The institutional investment and banking sector (i.e., capital markets) are essential for the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement. This event, which bridges the interface of climate change and the financial system, will look at opportunities to rapidly scale-up investment to meet Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

When: Saturday, 8 December; 13:15-14:45
Venue: Global Climate Action Arena
Organizers: GCA

Cities Water Language

The idea for this event is to bring together networks of city-to-city knowledge exchange with the aim of catalyzing the opportunities for cities to: 1) be aware of innovative approaches that work, 2) learn how others implemented them as a stepping stone to set up in their own city, and 3) document progress of cities. The proposed common language is based on the IWA Principles for Water-Wise Cities.

When: Saturday, 8 December; 13:15-14:45
Venue: Global Climate Action Arena
Organizers: International Water Association, Megacities Alliance for Water and Climate, Global Covenant of Mayors, C40, ICLEI, 100 Resilient Cities, Polish 44 MPA Cities, Water Cities Partnerships by NWP
Sunday, 9 Dec.
Monday, 10 Dec.

MPGCA Cross-cutting Roundtable on Resilience: Scaling up investments in resilience to meet the needs of vulnerable people.”

This roundtable will focus on the need for accelerating action and investment for climate resilience. It will identify the actions that public, private and community actors should take to scale up investments to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people.

When: Monday, 10 December; 13:15-14:45
Venue: Global Climate Action Arena
Organizers: GCA

MPGCA Cross-cutting Roundtable on Land-use, Water, and Energy: Unlocking resilience: applying coherent land-energy-water approaches to adaptation & mitigation

This roundtable features a dynamic discussion on the need to better identify and understand the trade-offs required for the sustainable management of energy, land use and water to meet mitigation and adaptation targets. This will include identifying the potential synergies and therefore co-benefits for each if they are managed in a more integrated, robust and flexible manner.

When: Monday, 10 December; 15:00-16:30
Venue: Global Climate Action Arena
Organizers: GCA
Tuesday, 11 Dec.
Wednesday, 12 Dec.
Thursday, 13 Dec.