The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Water Criteria Phase 2 "Nature-based and Hybrid Water Infrastructure" Opens for Public Consultation

LONDON: 19/10/2017: 16:00 BST

Water Consortium Moves to Next Phase in Water Standards Development

The Climate Bonds Initiative on behalf of the Water Consortium has released Water Criteria Phase 2 Nature-based and Hybrid Water infrastructure for public consultation.

The Water Criteria is part of the overarching Climate Bonds Standard which provides investors with a verifiable, science-based screening process to evaluate bond investments bringing climate mitigation, vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning to the fixed income investment space.

The Water Criteria lay out the requirements that water infrastructure assets and/or projects must meet to be eligible for inclusion as a Certified Climate Bond. They provide a means for investors to easily categorise and prioritise water infrastructure projects against climate impacts and climate resilience factors.

The Criteria have been developed in two phases:

Phase 1 Criteria, covering engineered water infrastructure, were released by the Water Consortium to the market in October 2016.

Phase 2 Criteria have a focus on nature-based and hybrid water infrastructure, such as wetlands and watersheds including for purposes as water collection, storage, treatment and distribution, flood protection and drought resilience.

The Phase 2 Criteria aim to:
I. Certify water infrastructure that are compatible with a 2°C trajectory
II. Ensure these assets and the surrounding ecosystem are adaptive and resilient to a changing climate

Water Phase 2 Criteria have been developed throughout 2016 and 2017 by a Technical Working Group (TWG) and Industry Working Group (IWG), convened by the Climate Bonds Initiative, Ceres, CDP, the World Resources Institute (WRI) & the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) acting in collaboration as a Water Consortium. AGWA is supported by the Stockholm International Water Institute.

The Climate Bonds Initiative is holding two Webinars to introduce the Criteria and describe the development process on Wednesday 25 October, 15:00-16:00 BST and on Monday 20 November, 16:00-17:00 GMT.

John Matthews - Water TWG Lead Specialist, AGWA Consortium Representative
“From my perspective as the lead of a global network focused on implementing freshwater resilience, the launch of credible evidence-based criteria for the long-term investment in ecosystems and hybrid infrastructure marks an enormous advance for the water and finance communities.”

Karen Yacos - Director, Water infrastructure, Ceres Water Program
“Recent, monstrous hurricanes in the U.S. underscore the critical need for widespread application of nature-based solutions to ensure that future water infrastructure is resilient and able to withstand growing extremes in weather. These criteria will help drive investment into innovative solutions urgently needed by municipalities around the world."

Cate Lamb - Head of CDP Water Program
“Nature-based solutions offer us a range of exciting ways to work with ecosystems in order to adapt to and mitigate climate change effects, while improving sustainable livelihoods and protecting natural ecosystems and biodiversity. The development of the Water Criteria associated with these interventions provides us with an opportunity to scale up their implementation and strengthen their impact in mitigating some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Todd Gartner - Senior Associate for the World Resources Institute’s Food, Forests & Water Program

“Phase 2 of the CBI Water Criteria Standard will help investors, bond issuers and water customers have confidence that water infrastructure projects consider the benefits of hybridized natural and built systems, enhance water security and ensure resilience in the face of climate change. “

Sean Kidney - CEO Climate Bonds Initiative
“Promoting investment in climate resilient water systems within the natural and built environment is a vital part of wider climate action. The expansion of our Water Criteria is a reflection of the significance of water across ecosystem sustainability and its position at the core of social and economic development. “

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