COP 27 and Water
At the latest UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), held in Egypt under the slogan “Together for Implementation”, water seems to have taken on greater importance than at previous summits. One day, promoted by the Egypt’s Presidency, was dedicated to debating the impact of global warming on water resources, as well as the adaptation measures that should be implemented to protect water management from the effects of climate change.
Society is currently facing water problems such as water scarcity, drought, lack of cross-border cooperation and the need to improve early warning systems. In fact, more than 90 percent of the major natural disasters of the past 10 years are water related. Water is the means through which society perceives many of the impacts of the climate crisis. But, even though climate change poses a very serious threat, it also presents an unprecedented opportunity to invest in water governance and water resource management systems.
In this sense, the Presidency of the summit launched the Action for Water Adaptation and Resilience (AWARe) initiative, which seeks to promote political efforts and the exchange of knowledge and also to foster inclusive cooperation to address all water-related challenges. At COP27, emphasis was placed above all on adaptation and early warning actions, creating an Early Warning Action Plan so that all countries have these systems in place to prevent and warn against violent weather phenomena such as droughts and floods. This global warning system should be completed in five years and will require an investment of $3.1 billion.
Discussions were also held on actions to adapt to drought and water scarcity, and on the role of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the sector and in protection against flash floods. Reference was also made to water security and sustainable development, with the aim of finding solutions to limit water scarcity in countries that are most exposed to the consequences of climate change.
When addressing the challenges of climate change, the highest water and climate authorities demand the following:
- Act now. Ensuring water for communities, economies and ecosystems is critical to reducing poverty, transitioning to green energy and mitigating natural disasters. This requires immediate action.
- Consider water as part of the solution. Better management of water resources, including sanitation, is an essential component for climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies to be successful. We can’t tackle the climate challenge without having water at the center.
- Improve water management practices. Much of humanity does not enjoy safe drinking water or sanitation. However, as countries begin to review and implement their national plans under the Paris Agreement, there is a unique opportunity to improve and strengthen water management practices.
- Ensure transboundary cooperation on adaptation. Transboundary cooperation is needed to address the climate impacts that cross national boundaries.
- Rethink financing. Climate financing for water resource management and sanitation helps make communities more climate resilient. The barriers to increased access to climate financing, such as lack of capacity and weak institutional coordination, need to be urgently addressed.
The aim of this year’s COP27 was to pave the way to effectively address the global challenge of climate change. Almar Water Solutions has joined this path with the goal of contributing to increase the importance of water in this global challenge. We are committed to water as a solution to climate change because the management of water resources, with the latest technology, enables us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate global warming. The time has come to adapt to a future of water uncertainty. There’s no time to lose.
- Climate Change and Water UN-Water Policy Brief.
- Action for Water Adaption and Resilience. AWARE Initiative COP27.
- Round table on “Water Security”, November 2022.
- The water imperative for climate action. Message to national and global leaders attending COP27.