The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Water is "The Connector" in the Climate Change Challenge

OOSKAnews recently conducted a video interview with AGWA's Coordinator, John Matthews, as a follow-up to an OOSKAnews Voices column by Dr. Matthews on COP23. This video interview explores these matters further, with focus on the past and future roadmaps for increasing recognition of the importance of adaptation in global climate considerations, and the place of water as a "connector" across climate change discourse.


OOSKAnews Voices: "Too Much, Too Quickly": UNFCCC COP23 and the Sharpening Mind

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, AGWA's Coordinator John H. Matthews focuses on the time-sensitive need to scale up adaptation efforts globally. Dr. Matthews provides reflections on COP23, highlighting its flaws and merits while outlining the urgent need for both practical and policy advancements.

"I have attended five COPs since 2009. Frankly, most of the COPs are frustrating to attend. But COP23 is the first UNFCCC meeting where fear was palpable in the presentations I saw and in the people I met. Climate impacts were here, they were serious, and many impacts were actually frightening. In the words of one participant with a large government’s aid agency: 'Climate change is coming too fast and too hard. We’re not changing fast enough. And we need help.' I sensed that many individuals and institutions felt as if their options were narrowing. Adaptation used to be about projects or money and budgets. Now adaptation is a systemic need, an institutional threat..."

COP23 Water Action Day Outcome Document

The 2nd annual Water Action Day, held 10 November 2017 at COP23 in Bonn, Germany was largely successful, bringing together an exceptional group of over 100 speakers representing a diverse range of stakeholders and viewpoints including national and international financial institutions, national ministries, farmers organisations, NGOs, basin networks, civil society, the private sector, local governments, indigenous groups, and youth. The organizers, including AGWA, recently published the Water Action Day Outcomes Document, which gives a brief overview of our priorities over the next few years and will guide our actions during this time. These include:
  • Scale up collaboration between Climate and Water communities in preparation of the COP24 and beyond by contributing to the Global Climate Action Marrakech Partnership and the overall UNFCCC process, showcasing how wise water management can support the delivery of the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda and the Sendai Framework targets.
  • Through the water-focused basin networks, continue efforts to expand and improve adaptive water management projects and increase the capacity of basin communities to address climate adaptation and mitigation.
  • Improve and increase water-sound climate financing by working with a broad spectrum of finance institutions to ensure mechanisms are in place for water-intensive climate investments to adopt resilient water resource management, in order to better respond to uncertain climate impacts.
The full document is available here:

Yearbook of Global Climate Action 2017

The Yearbook of Global Climate Action was launched today at a high level GCA event during COP23. The Marrakech Partnership’s 2017 Yearbook of Climate Action, drawing from thematic and regional meetings, summarizes the achievements in climate action over the last year.

The Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action was launched in COP22 in Marrakech to provide a strong roadmap for the UNFCCC process to catalyze and support climate action by Parties and non-Party stakeholders in the period from 2017 to 2020. The partnerships and initiatives of non-Party stakeholders, through the Marrakech Partnership, and in cooperation with national governments, aim to take immediate action on climate, consistent with the full implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

This Yearbook demonstrates that non-Party stakeholders are steadily progressing with climate action.

Reminder: LIVESTREAMING Water Action Day at COP23

Friday, 10 November is the second official UNFCCC Water Action Day, where you'll find a full day of events focused on the importance of water in the climate dialogue. AGWA and SIWI are co-organizers along with IUCN, World Water Council, FWP, Global Alliances for Water and Climate (GAfWaC).

The full day will be LIVESTREAMED on the UNFCCC Climate Change Studio YouTube channel -

The events take place in varying rooms, so make sure to check out the #BlueLineBonn page or the one-page SIWI/AGWA events summary to find out which channel to view. Read More...

Livestreaming Events from COP23

Great news for anyone that couldn't make it to COP23! The UNFCCC has announced that you will be able to virtually participate. They will be live-streaming all official side events via YouTube Live using the UNFCCC Climate Change Studio channel. The broadcast will include presentation slides (as they appear on the screen) and the video of the speaker as available. Note that events will be live broadcast based on local time in Bonn, Germany. They will also be archived for future viewing. Continue reading more below for details and make sure to visit AGWA's #BlueLineBonn page for more information on all things COP23!

#ClimateIsWater Flyer for COP23 & Beyond

The #ClimateIsWater initiative has released an updated set of key messages highlighting the importance of water in climate policy dialogue. The document, now available online, is meant to help inform activities at COP23 in Bonn that run from 6-17 November. It focuses on six key ideas:
  • Water connects sectors – from energy and forests to agriculture and tourism, water has a critical role to play in both mitigation and adaptation.
  • Climate change impacts water resources first and foremost.
  • Women's lives are the most impacted when facing the adverse effects of climate change, but they are also crucial agents of change.
  • Food security, improved nutrition and health will only be achievable if there is water security.
  • Sustainable urban water management enables climate resilience in cities.
  • Water-wise climate financing is a good investment for all.

Calendar of GCA events during COP 23 available online

The Global Climate Action team has the pleasure to inform you that the calendar of GCA events during COP 23 is available at

The agenda includes the second Water Action Day on Friday, 10 November. SIWI and AGWA are co-organizers of this Water Day along with IUCN, WWC, FWP and Global Alliances for Water and Climate (GAfWaC) . You can find out much more on COP23 and the #BonnBlueLine by visiting AGWA's COP23 webpage ( Read More...

Second International Conference on Water and Climate

Second International Conference on Water and Climate
Hosted by the World Water Council and the CoP22 Presidency as represented by the State Secretariat for Water of the Kingdom of Morocco
3–4 October
Marseille, France

Following up on the July 2016 conference in Rabat, Morocco, the World Water Council and representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco with support from AGWA worked to mobilize the water community in preparation for November’s COP 23 in Bonn, Germany. About 100 attendees from four continents participated over the two days.

The conference tried to concentrate on the question of how best to integrate water thematically within the UNFCCC policies and institutions. Climate negotiators from Senegal, Bangladesh, Morocco, Germany, and El Salvador as well as many representatives from agriculture, cities, finance, the private sector, and WASH all took part. Other governmental actors ranged from a mayor to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Several suggestions were made that should be useful going forward, including a strong message for the water community to reach out to other sectors recognized by the UNFCCC and argue for how water supports (rather than is more or equally important for) their climate-related targets, an emphasis on connecting the SDGs and UNFCCC through a water lens, the need to work with subsidiary institutions within the UNFCCC on rationalizing water resources through their work (and potentially more broadly through the NDCs and NAPs), and communicating to national and UN parties humbly and effectively how water is connected to both mitigation and adaptation. Read More...

LIVESTREAM of 2nd International Conference on Water and Climate

October 3-4 will be key dates in the lead up to COP23 in Bonn. The 2nd International Conference on Water and Climate: Fostering dialogue on the road of COP23 will take place on those dates in Marseille, France. The World Water Council, with the support of the CoP22 Presidency as represented by the Delegate Ministry for Water of the Kingdom of Morocco, and with the collaboration of other international partners such as the #ClimateIsWater Initiative, will be hosting the event.

The event is by invitation only, BUT you can take part by virtually participating in a livestream. Read more below. Read More...

OOSKAnews Voices | Watering Down the Paris Agreement: Global Climate Policy and Revenge of the Cities

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 implications of the United States' decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. The article focuses on the decision's effects on UNFCCC processes and the potential role of this withdrawal as a rallying cry for cities and other nations.

"The real question, however, is if US actions are the start of an erosion of support for the Paris Accord or, alternatively, the community of nations rallies round and doubles down.

...within the US’s hierarchies of governance, states and cities play a more important role around energy management. Especially for cities, there is a more widespread consensus of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow the rate of climate change. These decision makers are close to the impacts. As a result, the US may continue to make substantial progress against national climate goals."