COP27: Get serious about water

  • 12.11.2022
  • WHO

“There is no time to waste. Now is the time to get serious about water as an imperative for climate action,” according to a joint statement from an eminent panel of Water and Climate Leaders at the UN climate negotiations, COP27.

The statement urges heads of state and government to take more integrated water and climate action to replace the existing fragmented approach where water is often seen as problem as water being “part of the solution” to achieve the Paris Agreement goals.

It says that improved management of water resources would have multiple benefits, including by reducing water-related disasters, strengthening climate adaptation and resilience, and helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The challenge is urgent because the impacts of climate change are often felt through water.

“As the atmosphere passes one degree of warming above pre-industrial levels, sea levels rise and the cryosphere melts, the effects of climate change are being felt as never before. Resultant flooding, heatwaves, droughts, storms and sea level rise worldwide will progressively worsen as warming continues towards 1.5 degrees and beyond,” says the statement. It was issued just ahead of the high-level round table on Water Security during the Leaders Summit at COP27. The Egyptian presidency has made water a priority of the negotiations in Sharm El Sheikh.