News.Nov 18, 2022

3 questions to Jenny Fors about COP27

Today is the last day of the climate meeting COP27, at least according to its official schedule. We spoke to Jenny Fors, Senior Manager in SIWI’s International Policy team, who is on the ground in Egyptian Sharm El-Sheikh.

You have spent the past two weeks at COP27, what has it been like?

For me it was my first time attending a UN global climate conference. It has been very inspiring to join the first-ever COP with the commitment to put water at the heart of climate action and the first-ever thematic day about water at a climate COP. It has also been amazing to be part of the team behind the implementation of the Water Pavilion and meet the partners behind the pavilion and all amazing speakers during the days here.

What has been the role of SIWI?                                                      

We came here with two different missions. The first was to raise awareness of how water can be a powerful tool in climate action. SIWI has led the development of the first-ever study on the role of water in climate mitigation, and my colleague Dr Malin Lundberg Ingemarsson was here to present it.

Our delegation also included experts on what these types of solutions can look like. Anton Earle, from our South Africa office, has been speaking in sessions about climate resilient agriculture. And we have had Ruth Mathews and José Murillo share their knowledge of the source-to-sea approach to governance.

At the same time, SIWI has been deeply involved in the Water Pavilion in the negotiators’ Blue Zone of the COP. We managed to mobilize 40 different organizations to spread the message that water must be at the heart of climate action.

Water is said to have been more prominent at this COP than in any previous year, how has that been noticeable?

The Egyptian presidency early declared that they wanted water to be front and centre at this COP, where water for the first time would have its own day in the official programme. Egypt was well represented at World Water Week in August where they outlined their flagship AWARE initiative on water in climate adaptation. The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation has also led the Water Pavilion this year, after SIWI took the initiative to mobilize the first Water Pavilion last year.

Another reason water has been so high on the agenda is that this year’s COP has focused more than previously on climate adaptation. All over the world and not least here in Africa, people suffer from more droughts, more floods, and more water pollution as a result of global warming. Helping people become more resilient to the impacts of climate change must start by improving how we manage water.

It is important that water will be included in the final COP27 conclusions. We will continue advocating for more effective and holistic, cross-sectorial climate policies with water at the centre. Next step will be to contribute to a successful UN 2023 Water Conference in March next year.


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.