At a high-level event at COP26 Water and Climate Coalition (WCC) leaders today (Tuesday) made an urgent, united call for an integrated water and climate action, replacing what they call current fragmented, crisis-driven approaches.
In a briefing note attached to the above event the WCC outlines that its members, which include UN entities, civil society, the private
sector, youth envoys and several past presidents and prime ministers, 'join forces on concrete activities to implement solutions that address the gaps of operational water and climate challenges' with a 'special focus on data, information, monitoring systems and operational capacity'.
Emphasising the importance of the latter in efforts towards maintaining both water quality and supply President of Hungary, H.E. Mr. János Áder, whose economy is heavily dependent on the Danube and other rivers, said:
"Without good data, climate and water policies are only empty words.
Effective action requires knowledge, knowledge requires information,
information requires data."
Áder is on the 18-member Water and Climate Leaders panel which is fronting the international coalition spearheaded by World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and 10
World Bank Group also has a representative on the WCC panel. It's
managing director of development policy and partnership Mari Pangestu
described water as "the great connector"
in the fight against climate change, arguing that "global water
management must transform as part of overall efforts to achieve green,
resilient and inclusive development.”
Bayer senior vice president of public affairs and sustainability Matthias Berninger, also on the WCC panel, outlined three key actions that are needed to tackle the water crisis at global level, saying:
“First, we need commitment from the private sector. Second, we
need overarching political action. Third, and most importantly, we need
wide-ranging cooperation. We have a joint responsibility to make this
work. If we fail, it is not just a failure for us, but also for future
integrated global Water and Climate Agenda is a central aim of the coalition, you can see a full list of WCC members here, which works towards accelerating progress on Sustainable
Development Goals 6 (water and sanitation) and 13 (climate) via supporting effective
adaptation and resilience measures.
Describing the backdrop against which the WCC was formed, the aforementioned briefing note outlines:
'Climate change threatens us all and water is the primary medium through which we feel the impacts of climate change. 90 per cent of global disasters are caused by floods, storms, droughts and other weather-related events.'
Continuing it says that the above situation is only set to get worse in the face of a growing population, increased urbanisation and more, hence the need for a co-ordinated approach.
'To effectively address both water and climate challenges, we must bring climate change and water to the same table – into the same conversation: Tackling them as one,' the briefing note concludes.