In May 2017, IHE Delft joined #ClimateisWater, an international initiative to elevate the visibility of water within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) discussions. The initiative came about following a climate change meeting of government and UN bodies, civil society and development banks at the COP 22 meeting in Morocco in 2016, at which a dialogue took place concerning how water can support climate related policies and actions and vice-versa. This resulted in the Outcomes Document, which included three main themes around which the climate and water landscapes appear to be converging.
1. Global climate policy is more than just carbon; it’s also about water.
As expressed in the Outcomes Document: “climate change impacts water resources. Since water is the primary medium through which people, economies and nature suffer climate impacts, its effective management should be an early focus for adaptation. Long denigrated as “part of the problem”, water is now seen as “part of the solution”.
2. National climate goals will be carried out by non-national actors.
Until recently national governments and their foreign ministries were the leading players in climate change policy and negotiations. According to Jonathan Matthews, Secretariat Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation * “After Paris, the pivot point for action has been quietly, rapidly shifting. Nation states recognise that most of their country’s commitments must be implemented by cities, utilities, businesses and civil society, or by domestic agencies involved in agriculture, infrastructure and natural resources”.
3. Finance is becoming the means of creating coherent multi-scale climate policy.
According to Jonathan Matthews in the same article, “The shift from global policy to sub-national action is essentially a shift from goals to projects. In many ways, climate policy will now look like climate finance, drawing on many diverse sources of funds. Multilateral lending groups such as the World Bank, are well advanced in the public sector process. Water-related investments now must go through a climate risk-screening approach, scaling various options through a decision tree framework”.
As a multidisciplinary, specialised water institute, IHE Delft is well placed to contribute to this initiative and welcomes the opportunity to join other prominent members of the international water community in working towards achieving SDG6, SDG13, and other water and climate related goals.
For more information:
*Water and climate professionals: united by necessity, The Source (IWA publication) February 2017