The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

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...

Morocco strives to maintain political support for water within the climate change agenda

Morocco strives to maintain political support for water within the climate change agenda
This article was written by AGWA Policy Group members Maggie White (French Water Partnership, Coalition Eau, Eau Vive) and Louise Whiting (WaterAid)

Photo by John Matthews

Just six months after the signing of the Paris Agreement, Morocco and France have kept the promise made at COP21 to highlight water’s critical role when it comes to addressing climate change – including both the reduction of carbon emissions and adapting our societies to the climatic impacts that are now inevitable.

The key role that water plays in both adaptation and mitigation was acknowledged by the majority of countries that signed the Paris Agreement, as evidenced through the content of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). In fact, 83 percent of the NDCs that have been submitted highlight the importance of adaptation – especially in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Pacific-Asia – and 93 percent of the adaptation content refers to water as fundamental to effective adaptation programmes (1). It is beyond question that water is central to the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement.

It was therefore essential that just before COP22, the COP Presidency chose to support, promote and lead an event on addressing climate change in Africa specifically from a water perspective.

The International Conference on Water and Climate: water security for climatic justice (2) was co-organised on the 11-12th of July by the Government of Morocco, the Government of France, the World Water Council and with the support of the French Water Partnership. The event fell under the high patronage of his majesty the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, and was fully supported by the head of the Moroccan government. With over 600 participants in attendance, and more than 20 African ministerial delegations, the conference was a huge success in terms of building the much-needed political awareness of the role of water in the battle against climate change.