19/12/18 Filed in: Podcast
Each year climate negotiators gather for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties, or COP, to discuss how to address climate change. But how does science inform climate policy? Is climate policy actually based in science? Should technical professionals become involved in climate policy? If so, how?
In this episode of ClimateReady
, we bring in two people neck deep in climate and water policy despite having largely technical backgrounds. AGWA’s Coordinator, Dr. John Matthews, interviews the Director of IUCN’s Global Water Program
, Dr. James Dalton, about the need for technical perspectives in the world of policy. Together, a biologist and an engineer discuss the challenges of entering a fast-paced arena that sometimes requires compromise and generalizations and the means by which interested (especially young) professionals can enter the fray.
Following their conversation, we hear a “Postcard from the Future” that takes us to Beijing in 2050. Danielle Neighbour of the China Environment Forum
at the Wilson Center highlights the benefits of coordinated water recycling for addressing water security in urban and rural settings.
03/12/18 Filed in: Policy Brief
AGWA's Policy Group continues to push for greater integration of resilient water management approaches within the global climate change agenda. Together with SIWI, the Policy Group has prepared several position papers and policy briefs covering a wide range of topics in advance of COP24. Access them below. Read More...
29/03/18 Filed in: Publications
The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has released two new reports focusing on national urban policies.Global State of National Urban Policy
Covering 150 countries, this is the first comprehensive report which monitors and evaluates National Urban Policies at the global scale, using a clearly defined common methodology that allows international benchmarking of NUP. It is also a significant contribution to the monitoring and implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Read More...
25/01/18 Filed in: Article
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..." Read More...
22/08/17 Filed in: Publications
Water plays a key role in most of the world’s environmental and socioeconomic challenges – ranging from food security to climate change adaptation and from regional cooperation to energy generation. The legal and policy framework for managing water resources at the local, the national and the transboundary level is, however, still underexplored. The recently published Routledge Handbook of Water Law and Policy
aims to address this gap by providing a comprehensive overview of water law and policy and their contributing to sustainable development. Read More...
05/07/17 Filed in: Guest Blog | Policy
This guest blog was written by Soléne Fabrégas, Program Officer and Coordinator of the Climate Working Group at the French Water Partnership. The article comes from FWP's Water & Climate News Digest.
Following the dramatic announcement that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, concerns regarding the future of international negotiations and our capacity to combat climate change are greater than ever.
Although a number of reassuring speeches have indicated that such a decision could both encourage nations to take action and stimulate momentum in civil society, the negative consequences could be numerous:
- From a symbolic point of view, the withdrawal from the agreement of the world’s second biggest producer of greenhouse gases gives out a very negative signal. Since Donald Trump’s election, the United States had already announced multiple measures that go against sustainable development and a low-carbon economy (e.g. drastic cuts in environmental credits, re-examination of the Clean Power Act, etc.). Now, however, the US President clearly intends to let the world know that he no longer wants to contribute to a joint effort that is nevertheless indispensible to respect international targets.
- By undoing the efforts made by Barack Obama’s administration to limit the USA’s production of greenhouse gases, the federal state is extinguishing the last hope of remaining under the 2°C threshold. As a reminder, the sum of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) submitted by nations for the Paris agreement currently corresponds to an estimated average temperature rise of between 2.7°C and 3.5°C by 2100. A significant revision and stepping up of nations’ ambitions is therefore crucial, rather than the opposite. In its latest note, the Comité 21 (network for all French actors working for sustainability) states “The impacts of this decision will really be felt after 2020 with a rise in emissions from coal, and a slow-down in the production of renewable energy due to a lack of incentives from the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency)”.
- The issue of funding is also crucial. Climate funds (adaptation funds, green funds, etc.) are vital tools to help countries initiate processes for energy transition and adapt to climate change. Although the USA’s promise to contribute 3 billion dollars to the Green Climate Fund may not seem like much, the withdrawal of this financing would have the effect of weakening a financial tool that already struggles to find resources. In addition to multilateral funding, we can also apprehend a drop in development aid from the United States, bearing in mind that numerous funded development projects also play a part in combating climate change and reducing vulnerabilities.
28/06/17 Filed in: Article
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." Read More...
18/05/17 Filed in: Policy
The Marrakech call
is loud and clear: nothing can stop global climate action. At the same time, there is universal recognition that if we are to realise the goals of the Paris Agreement, we must all go further and faster in delivering climate action before 2020, enabled by adequate flows of finance, technology and capacity building. The following document provides the way forward through the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action.Approach for the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action
08/05/17 Filed in: Policy Brief
The AGWA policy group, coordinated by SIWI, has released a new policy brief
outlining the gender dimension of water and climate change.
The latest policy brief from AGWA's Policy Group focuses on the importance of coherence between gender-responsive climate policies and the balanced participation of women and men in climate policy dialogue. Women are often made more vulnerable from the adverse impacts of climate change, especially in developing countries. At the same time, women also play a crucial role as change agents for successful adaptation to climate change.
This policy brief, prepared by SIWI and AGWA, is a contribution to the discussions and activities at UNFCCC meetings in order to improve understanding and application of gender and water knowledge in the climate arena. You can find out more on the AGWA Policy Group by visiting our Policy page
. Read More...
10/04/17 Filed in: Policy
This guest blog was written by Maggie White, the SIWI Co-Chair for AGWA and member of the Policy Group. From 21-23 March, Maggie participated in a series of water & policy related events around Rome to coincide with World Water Day.
In honor of World Water Day on 22 March, the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture and the Club of Rome co-hosted the “Watershed” conference in Rome (21st-23rd of March). Organized with the support of Circle of Blue, the Rockefeller Foundation, the World Bank, and SIWI (among others), the event offered a highlight moment during Pope Francis’s Papal Audience.
In an unprecedented move, the Pope addressed the importance of raising global awareness on water in front of the 15,000 people who attended. Thousands more were able to watch the live-streamed event online through various social media outlets and hear his position on the importance of water as a “treasure belonging to everyone, mindful of its cultural and religious significance,” a treasure which should be preserved and shared by all in joint collaboration. The Pope also thanked the participants of the Watershed event for their endeavors.
It can be said that water is a high priority for the Pope. After the publication of his work ‘Laudato’ where he advocates the need to protect our planet, its resources and addresses climate issues, he took a strong stance at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) during the adoption of the 2030 SDG Agenda. Furthermore, earlier this year in February, the Vatican also co-hosted another high level conference
on the human right to water and sanitation. Read More...
07/03/17 Filed in: Policy Brief
The AGWA policy group, coordinated by SIWI, has released a new policy brief
outlining successful steps towards implementation of the Paris Agreement.
One of the keys to fulfill the goals set in the Paris Agreement will be wise water management. Water was on the agenda at the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh (COP22), and its key role in strengthening resilience to climate change cannot be overstated. The role of water holds great potential for synergies in adaptation and mitigation, as illustrated in the priorities outlined in the national climate plans. In this policy brief, developed by members of the AGWA policy group, recommendations on how water can inform the implementation of the Paris Agreement, illustrated through its role in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are presented.
You can find out more on the AGWA Policy Group by visiting our Policy page
. Read More...
03/03/17 Filed in: Journal
We would like to draw your attention to “Managing fragmentation and complexity in the emerging system of international climate finance", a special issue of the journal International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics
. The special issue, edited by Jonathan Pickering, Carola Betzold and Jakob Skovgaard, focuses on mapping the fragmented climate finance system, analysing the causes and consequences of fragmentation and discussing policy responses. This is done through in-depth articles covering topics including the allocation and ambiguity of adaptation finance, mobilising private adaptation finance, and exploring the role of Multilateral Development Banks, finance ministries and domestic party politics in climate finance allocation and negotiations. The introduction and a few other articles are open access (see below).
The authors' post on the INOGOV blog
provides more explanation of the post-US election state of affairs of the climate finance system and of the contributions of the special issue. Read More...
21/02/17 Filed in: Articles
The final installment in a series of three articles on water and climate change policy has just been released
by Global Water Forum. The three-part series is written by a group of AGWA members including the Co-Chairs, Coordinator, and Policy Group members. The articles will examine the co-evolution of water and climate change policy over the past 20 years. Part three explores the period from the most recent global climate policy conference to the present day, with speculation about where we may see water and climate policy headed into the future. Read More...
17/02/17 Filed in: Publications
Adelphi has published a series of studies and reports on the role, challenges and opportunities of water diplomacy and trans-boundary river cooperation in light of climate change. They are free for download.
Adelphi is an independent think tank and public policy consultancy on climate, environment and development. Their mission is to improve global governance through research, dialogue and consultation. Read More...
13/02/17 Filed in: Articles
The second installment in a series of three articles on water and climate change policy has just been released
by Global Water Forum. The three-part series is written by a group of AGWA members including the Co-Chairs, Coordinator, and Policy Group members. The articles will examine the co-evolution of water and climate change policy over the past 20 years. Part two also tells the story of AGWA's creation. Read More...
09/02/17 Filed in: Article
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..." Read More...
08/02/17 Filed in: Articles
The first in a series of three articles on water and climate change policy has just been released
by Global Water Forum. The three-part series is written by a group of AGWA members including the Co-Chairs, Coordinator, and Policy Group members. The articles will examine the co-evolution of water and climate change policy over the past 20 years. No matter what your level of policy knowledge is, this article is definitely worth your time. Read More...
21/10/16 Filed in: Knowledge network
The NAP Global Network
is working to coordinate climate-resilient development on an international level. It aims to enhance national adaptation planning and action in developing countries through coordination of bilateral support and in-country actors. It also offers technical advice on the NAP process.
The network is still seeking participants
, which consist of decision-makers and practitioners working on national adaptation planning in developing countries, as well as representatives of bilateral development partners providing support for adaptation. Participation in the NAP Global Network is open to all. Read More...
20/10/16 Filed in: Article
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 secretariat coordinator for AGWA, describes the importance of next month's COP22 conference to water.
"The Paris Agreement — the most significant climate framework since the founding of the UNFCCC — does not mention water at all, but the Paris Agreement may also be the most significant water agreement in human history. How does a policy framework that lacks any mention of water affect water management? The answer shows the gap between the climate policy world and the water world..." Read More...
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!
28/09/15 Filed in: Interview | Video
During World Water Week in Stockholm, AGWA Steering Committee member Christine Chan took some time to interview Steven Loiselle, Senior Freshwater Research Manager for FreshWater Watch. The two discussed the citizen science approach utilized by FreshWater Watch and how it relates to similar bottom-up approaches supported by AGWA. Dr. Loiselle explains some of the benefits of citizen science, including how it can help bridge the gap between science and policy. You can watch the full interview in the video below.