Saturday, 23 January 2021

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COP22: water, the ‘first victim’ of climate change, part of the solution

A water tap in Rwanda. © Photo: World Bank/A'Melody Lee

10 November – The impacts of climate change are felt through water, with flooding, erratic rain patterns, prolonged droughts, and other extreme weather events. Water is critical for successful climate change mitigation, as many efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions depend on reliable access to water resources.

Countries have identified water as key to adaptation in 93% of their national climate action plans (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or “INDCs”). As water is fundamental for food security, human health, energy production, industrial productivity, biodiversity, in addition to basic human needs and its availability, ensuring water security means ensuring security in all these domains.

“Water connects everything. To produce energy, some countries have 97 per cent renewable energy from water. So it affects everything. It is crucial for human development, it is crucial for education, it is crucial for health, it is crucial for stability and food security”, said Hakima el Haité, Minister in charge of Environment of Morocco, during a special day dedicated to water issues at the UN Climate Conference COP22 that is currently taking place in Marrakech.

Wednesday, the Moroccan Government and its partners launched a Blue Book on Water and Climate, which includes recommendations by the international water community. It recommends that water be recognized as the “first victim” of climate change and to initiate an action agenda for water. Seven of the 10 countries most threatened by climate change are in Africa.

“While humanity experiences increasing demographic and socioeconomic stresses, recent episodes of extreme climate around the world bring additional complexities in finding solutions to reduce these stresses. Water is one of the most impacted resources, but water also provides solutions to these challenges,” said Benedito Braga, President of the World Water Council.

UNRIC’s related links:

  • Read more about water at COP22 here.  
  • The Nordic countries have a joint pavilion at the UN Climate negotiations in Marrakech- November 7-18, 2016 - under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Nordic pavilion will highlight New Nordic Climate Solutions through a series of events focusing on a greener future.All events at the Nordic COP22 pavilion will be streamed. You can follow them live on this site.

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