Conference.09 Nov 2022, 16:00 - 17:00 EET

Freshwater’s role in climate change mitigation

Mitigation cannot succeed without water: While the central role of water in adaptation is well known, the important contribution of freshwater to climate mitigation has so far received little attention. However, freshwater is an essential (and threatened) resource and at the foundation of many climate mitigation activities in core sectors such as energy and forests. The water sector also holds large untapped mitigation potential. This event presents the “why” and “how” to strengthen joint water and climate governance to support climate-smart and water-wise mitigation action.

This is the global launch of a new landmark report on water and climate mitigation

The report is titled “The essential drop to reach Net-Zero: Unpacking Freshwater’s Role in Climate Change Mitigation” and is led by SIWI together with GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC). The report presents the latest science on the key role of water in climate mitigation across sectors and biomes like energy, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and WASH. It addresses water risks that need to be evaluated in climate mitigation plans, and identifies opportunities for integrating climate change mitigation and water resource management practices to make use of synergies. It outlines how sustainable water management can reduce emissions, secure carbon sinks, and underpin successful transition towards renewable energy sources – often with multiple benefits for climate adaptation, resilience, biodiversity and livelihoods. The report highlights the need for a dual focus on mitigation and adaptation as complementary strategies with water at its core.

Read the Executive Summary

Partners will underpin the insights from the report with on-the-ground carbon-smart and water-wise mitigation action.

The project “Water and Wastewater Companies for Climate Mitigation (WaCCliM)”, implemented as part of the International Climate Initiative of the German government will present GHG reduction results achieved in the partner countries Jordan, Mexico and Peru. It will provide evidence for the relevance of the urban water and wastewater sector for GHG reductions and discuss success factors for the implementation of mitigation measures on the ground.

Further, the session welcomes the Water Initiative for Net Zero (WINZ) and Global Water Intelligence (GWI) to give a future outlook and call to action. WINZ is an advocacy movement to promote water’s role in reducing global heating and avoiding climate chaos. WINZ offers water professionals a politically compelling umbrella advocacy brand and a coherent set of clear messages, backed by robust evidence from respected scientific sources. GWI has fresh insights into global and regional GHG emissions in water utility systems, and can support the key message from the new report – that water is important for GHG mitigation.

Warmly welcome to this session, to learn why climate mitigation can only reach its full potential through carbon-smart and water-wise management of freshwater.

As the relevance of GHG mitigation through water is becoming an international policy focus, there is already comprehensive project experience on the ground. Countries such as Jordan, Mexico and Peru have started to reduce GHG emissions from water and wastewater management almost ten years ago, including through improved energy efficiency and sustainable wasterwater and sludge management. In Zambia, commercial utilities plan to use GHG and energy monitoring to improve operational efficiency, support NDC reporting and secure access to climate fundings. The event will highlight key experiences and success factors from implementing water mitigation projects in developing and emerging economies around the globe.

Over the last several years, a growing number of water and wastewater utilities have made the Race to Zero commitment. This session would highlight those commitments, showcase progress made, and encourage more utilities to sign up.


Water and the 2030 AgendaFreshwater and ecosystems/biodiversityWater and climate
09 Nov 2022, 16:00 - 17:00 EET
Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt)
COP 27 logo - Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt 2022 (sandand blue colours)

Join us at COP27

To share new knowledge about water and climate, SIWI will be taking active part in the global climate conference COP27 between 6 and 18 November. Join our programme online to learn about a promising new generation of climate solutions.



  • Malin Ingemarson, SIWI (Stockholm International Water Institute)
  • Anna Berg, GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Austin Alexander, Xylem

This event is co-led with

logo of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ)
German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ)
logo of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
1. SRC logo digital version horisontal
Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC)

The essential drop to reach Net-Zero: Unpacking Freshwater's Role in Climate Change Mitigation

The report shows a new way of thinking about climate change that can lead to more effective solutions.

Read the report