The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

OOSKAnews Voices | We'll Always Have Paris (and Marrakech): Implementing a Water and Climate Action Agenda

OOSKAnews Voices is a series of guest “opinion columns” on water, written by senior participants in different parts of the international water community. The columns provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. In this piece John H. Matthews, co-founder and Coordinator for AGWA, describes the importance of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. The article focuses on the role of NDCs and the vital role of Morocco's COP22 in bringing water into the UNFCCC mechanisms.

"In the 1942 film Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart looked deeply into the eyes of Ingrid Bergman before she boarded a plane in World War II Morocco, telling her, 'We’ll always have Paris.'

Bogart and Bergman were not at the Marrakesh UNFCCC CoP22 last November, nor was Humphrey referring to the 2015 Paris Agreement. But since the Moroccan COP, I keep thinking that, for better or worse, the water community will always have Paris..."

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...

High Level Event on Water: The bridge between SDGs and climate implementation

“This is our moment for ground-breaking transformational change on water, climate change and sustainability. Let us not fail to deliver," UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said at a recent event at UN Headquarters this week.

The event was held on the eve of the UNGA High Level Thematic Debate on Achieving the SDGs and signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change in New York, and aimed to bring attention to the importance of water as a connector between these global agendas. It was hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and the Permanent Mission of Sweden, in partnership with the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), WaterAid and the Rockefeller Foundation.

The event, Building a Resilient Future through Water – Connecting the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, sought to highlight possible strategies for delivering on the 2030 Agenda and strengthening climate resilience through wise water management, and ways the implementation of the 2030 and climate agendas can be better integrated – with water as a useful connector. It featured a keynote address by the UN Deputy Secretary-General as well as a high-level panel including the Delegate Minister in Charge of Environment in Morocco (COP22 President), the Minister of the Environment in Jordan, the Permanent Representative of Mauritius to the UN, and the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN and event partners, WaterAid and The Rockefeller Foundation.

You can find the full article highlighting the entire event on SIWI's website at Read More...

AGWA at COP21 - "Resilience & Water: Towards a New Vision for Sustainability"

As part of the global #ClimateIsWater Initiative and the unofficial “Water Day” at COP21, AGWA organized an event to promote the value and understanding of water considerations within the climate change debate.

During this half-day event, Dr. John Matthews, Secretariat Coordinator for AGWA, gave a presentation on freshwater resilience entitled "Resilience & Water: Towards a New Vision for Sustainability." This video provides insight into the threats, vulnerabilities, and uncertainties facing freshwater and how the global water community can respond resiliently.


New Video - Climate Is Water at COP21

The video team at Arup have created another amazing video for AGWA, this time focusing on the importance of water in climate adaptation. The video is part of the international #ClimateIsWater Initiative. Watch the video below to find out how talking about climate means talking about water!