The obvious links between water and climate have largely been ignored in international climate debates. COP21 changed that with water events organised by the French and Peruvian presidencies and in collaboration with non-state actors. Coordinated by the World Water Council, #ClimateIsWater played a key role in this process, forming an international collective of 24 organisations to speak with one voice for water.
Climate change manifests itself mainly through extreme weather events related to the water cycle, such as unpredictable rainfall, floods and droughts. Although water is ranked among the top global risks to society, ‘water’ remains invisible within the official UNFCCC negotiation, in particular the 2015 Paris Agreement.
At the same time, water is mentioned in 93 per cent of the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), which correspond to each country’s public commitments for post-2020 climate actions under the new international agreement.
Water is, therefore, an intrinsic part of the solution to climate change, connecting policy areas, economic sectors and societies. Investment in water provides opportunities for improved access to energy and food and increases resilience to climate variability, while limiting potential costs related to water-related disasters. Moreover, actively involving the voices of women, youth and indigenous peoples, who are most often affected by climate change impacts, is critical to ensure feasible solutions on the ground.
For continuity between COP21 and COP22, the French and Moroccan Governments and the World Water Council organised together the ‘Water Security for Climate Justice’ International Conference. This event launched a ‘Water for Africa’ call supported by over 20 ministerial delegations to elevate water politically during COP22.
Towards Marrakech and beyond, the #ClimateIsWater initiative invites you to join us to raise the profile for water within every aspect of climate discussions, since failure to address the relationship between water and climate puts our future in jeopardy.