Water is a necessary part of the climate solution: without considering freshwater in mitigation and adaptation, the Paris Agreement will likely be out of reach.
By investing in adaptive water planning and management, countries can help build climate-resilient societies that benefit both people and the planet. If water is not considered in decision-making, there are risks to climate action, with many net zero initiatives dependent on abundant and reliable water.
COP28 marks the halfway point in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and will be the first assessment, also known as the Global Stocktake, of how countries have progressed against their commitments made at COP21 Paris in 2015.
Political messages at COP28 will likely call for countries to increase their emissions reductions by revising and enhancing their current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
What are we asking policymakers and negotiators to consider in the political recommendations?
Article 7 of the Paris Agreement establishes the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) of “enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development”. However, translating this high-level statement into action has proven to be difficult.
To address Article 7, countries established the two-year Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) at COP26 to enhance and support adaptation action through a country-driven process.
This programme ends its mandate at COP28 where climate negotiators are expected to deliver a GGA Framework.
The draft structure of the framework comprises at the moment: a) adaptation dimensions across the adaptation policy cycle; b) adaptation across a set of themes (current negotiations include “water” and “freshwater ecosystems” themes; and, c) adaptation cross-cutting considerations.
What are we asking policymakers and negotiators to consider?
As an essential resource for adaptation, water must be highlighted as a strong component of the GGA Framework. Water is one of Earth’s most precious resources, sustaining well-being, ecosystems, economies, biodiversity and society as a whole.
The global climate crisis makes the management of water availability and quality increasingly difficult, demanding adaptation strategies for this scarce and precious resource. Global adaptation to climate change will not be successful without careful consideration of water resources and the freshwater ecosystems they rely on.
Adopting water-related adaptation targets can raise the ambition needed to achieve the Global Goal on Adaptation.
The expertise of the water community can be harnessed to support the articulation and development of the GGA framework beyond 2023.
Water features in several global agreements, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk reduction, The Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), the United Nations Conventions to Combat Desertification, and the Convention on Biological Diversity. However, water is not explicitly mentioned in the Paris Agreement, and the existing global frameworks that address water do not include climate-rooted adaptation targets. Currently, there are no global frameworks with targets that explicitly link water with climate outcomes.
Setting sectoral targets has driven ambition and provided guidance towards sustainable development and poverty eradication. Defining water-related adaptation targets within the GGA Framework offers a unique opportunity to enhance climate adaptation ambition, transform existing governance and management systems, and to increase coherence of the existing global frameworks to bring about a sustainable and climate resilient future for all.
The expertise of the water community can be harnessed to support the articulation and development of the GGA framework beyond 2023. The water sector has been refining and evolving its approach to monitoring progress for decades. The GGA does not have to start from zero or work in isolation when it comes to establishing targets and monitoring progress. The water community can provide technical support to parties as needed:
What are we asking policymakers and negotiators to consider?
Knowledge, Innovation and Technology
Capacity development and means of implementation
Recognizing the need to bridge more effectively towards those outside of the international water community, the Water for Climate Pavilion is encouraging its Core Partners to take on responsibilities to learn the issues and language in different climate spaces and build relationships with the stakeholders engaged there.
The Learning Agenda is the dynamic and interactive framework that links Fund partners and allows them to share and learn from one another. It promotes a shared interest in collaborative knowledge development and learning on climate-resilient, sustainable and inclusive WASH between all partners. Water for Women is unique in its role as both an implementation and research Fund which contributes to regional and global understanding of best practice climate-resilient, inclusive development.
A policy brief of the Transboundary Water Cooperation Coalition to inform climate discussions and negotiations at COP28 and beyond
Join the Freshwater Challenge by committing, by COP30 in 2025, to include into new or revised NDCs, NAPs, and other climate strategies quantitative targets on the protection and restoration of freshwater ecosystems, and by reaffirming land degradation neutrality, water security, and related commitments.
A year after COP27, we explain what loss and damage is, how it relates to water, what a Loss and Damage Fund would do, and what progress has been made. Written by Luisa Chantler Edmond, Princeton in Asia fellow
The purpose of this Sourcebook is to provide advice on how to incorporate disaster risk reduction and resilience building into the watershed management process.
Forests are vital to our water supply. They influence how and where rain falls, and they filter and clean our water. By protecting the world’s forests, we are also protecting the clean water that we depend upon for our survival.
The Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture was established in 2016 and aims to bring together key players across the globe and across sectors to tackle the collective challenge of using water better in agriculture to ensure food security for all.
Here are five insights about the links between water and security – and resources if you want to delve deeper into the topic.
This blog series is concerned with understanding trends in the inclusion of water and water related activities in enhanced NDCs, along with assessing overall changes between first and second versions of NDCs for different parties.
Investing in the right place can help to solve multiple problems across Africa. Currently, a huge challenge is to feed a large and increasing population in the face of climate change, where food production in the continent heavily relies on rainfall. In addition, there is widespread rural poverty.
This report shows a new way of thinking about climate change that can lead to more effective solutions.
Conversations around climate change are often awash with acronyms. In this blog, we explain two key acronyms – NDCs and NAPs – and discuss why water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) must be incorporated into these plans for communities to effectively adapt to climate change.
ARUP has identified nine features that we deem essential for organisations to successfully respond to the challenges the water sector faces.
This report summarizes current knowledge of the anticipated impacts of climate change on water availability for agriculture. The implications for local and national food security are examined; and the methods and approaches to assess climate change impacts on water and agriculture are discussed.
The GAR Special Report on Drought 2021 calls for immediate action to reduce drought risks. Thinking ahead and acting in advance of drought has far lower costs than reacting and responding to the impacts once drought hits.
The general objective of this guide is to support the implementation of the Sendai Framework in (transboundary) basins through bringing together disaster risk management, integrated water management and climate adaptation approaches.
The objective of SOLAW 2021 is to build awareness of the status of land and water resources, highlighting the risks, and informing on related opportunities and challenges, also underlining the essential contribution of appropriate policies, institutions and investments.