The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Closing the Gap: New tool to track water solutions for Ceres Investor Network Members

This article was written by Robin Miller, Manager, Investor Engagement, Water Program at Ceres

For the last eight years, investors, corporate executives and policymakers have
ranked water crises and extreme weather events (exacerbated by climate change) among the top five threats to economic growth and geopolitical stability. Additionally, the latest figures from the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 indicate that sizable parts of the global population still lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation (29 percent and 61 percent respectively) while only 59 percent of all wastewater is safely treated.

The funding needed to address the global water crisis remains comparably extensive. In the United States alone, the
American Water Works Association estimated that through 2050, $1.7 trillion USD would be needed to maintain water infrastructure. A survey in 2017 found that over 80 percent of countries reported insufficient financing to meet national water sanitation and hygiene targets.

So, how are we going to finance the solutions to the water crisis?

Outcomes from "A Deeper Blue for Green Bonds: Water Investment Criteria for Nature-based Solutions"

Interested in learning more about green bonds? Want to hear how cities like San Francisco are funding innovative nature-based solutions through newly established Climate Bonds Standards?

Ceres recently hosted a webinar on the newly launched water criteria focused on nature-based solutions for green bonds. The criteria have been undergoing staged development by the Climate Bonds Initiative, AGWA, Ceres, CDP, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and international experts. The criteria help define and evaluate low carbon and climate resilient water infrastructure projects encompassing two broad components: 1) climate mitigation and 2) climate adaptation/resilience.

If you missed the recent webinar, you can now watch and listen to the event on-demand to learn more about the topic.

Ceres Launching an Investor Water Toolkit

Ceres is a nonprofit organization focused on transforming the economy to build a sustainable future. To support this vision they are launching the Investor Water Toolkit, the first-ever comprehensive resource to evaluate and act on water risks in investment portfolios. The Toolkit is free to use, though it will require logging in to Ceres' website. Accounts are free and quick to set up.

Within the Toolkit, users will receive "how-to" guidance and decision making support for investors. Tools are separated into five easily accessible and understandable modules (see more below). Ceres will also be hosting a webinar exploring the Investor Water Toolkit on 11 January 2018 (details below).