The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

  • Climate change impacts water resources first and foremost
  • Water security is key to climate adaptation
  • Water underlies many low-carbon solutions
  • Urgent action is needed to increase visibility for water within the Global Climate Action Agenda
Key Messages Behind #ClimateIsWater
Water is an essential resource for life
Along with the immediate issues surrounding access to drinking water and sanitation and hygiene services, this resource is also fundamental for food security (rainwater and irrigation), human health, energy production, industrial productivity, biodiversity, and virtually every activity that supports prosperity and resilience.
Climate change impacts water resources first and foremost
Climate change further increases the intensity and frequency of natural disasters and water-related crises, including unpredictable rainfall and floods, water shortages, cyclones, salinisation and droughts. These events further exacerbate existing freshwater quality and quantity challenges. Systematically addressing these challenges is, therefore, key to adapting to climate change and reducing the negative impacts of water-related disasters. Indeed, countries have identified water as a key to adaptation in 93% of their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to the UNFCCC Framework. In addition, water is critical for successful climate change mitigation, as many efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions depend on reliable access to water resources.
Failure to address the relationship between water and climate puts our future in jeopardy
Two-thirds of the world’s population could face water stress in 2025 and the number of people affected by floods could increase by a factor of three by 2100. While repercussions will be felt around the world, the most vulnerable countries and populations, and those who are already highly exposed to extreme climate phenomena will be the most affected. These are the same populations with the least capacity to respond and adapt. Access to food, health and energy security is under threat in many parts of the world. If we don’t act urgently, political and social tensions and conflicts will likely increase. This is why action is needed now to increase visibility for water within the Global Climate Action Agenda, since decisions made today will set the trajectory for generations to come.
The #ClimateIsWater Initiative: Hydrating the Climate Negotiations

The obvious links between water and climate change have for a long time been ignored in international climate summits. COP21 changed that with water events organized by the French and Peruvian Presidencies and partners from the civil society (e.g. commitments taken during the Lima-Paris Action Agenda).

#ClimateIsWater played a key role in this progress, forming a coalition of water partners from around the globe to speak with one voice for water.

But a lot remains to be done as water has not been mentioned in the Paris Climate Agreement adopted in 2015 at COP21.
#ClimateIsWater is, therefore, still an ongoing effort: our objective is to reach out to the climate community at every level for better consideration of water issues.

If you think water deserves more from climate negotiations, join
A downloadable brochure is available here
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How to Join the Initiative
Any organization with an event or initiative directly related to water and climate change can apply to become part of the #ClimateIsWater Initiative. Please read through the #ClimateIsWater Logo Use Charter document and contact to find out how your organization can become an official partner in this campaign.