Closing COP28: important strides for water
“During this COP, we have had many fruitful discussions on how to help turn words into action, and I leave Dubai inspired and full of energy for the road ahead.”
The water community united for climate action
The epicentre of the water discussions at COP28 was the Water for Climate Pavilion, organized by SIWI together with over 60 partner organizations. Here, water issues were brought to a wider audience, highlighting its make-or-break role in impactful climate action.
“The key to influencing the formal negotiations is collective action, and that is what we have done – and will continue to do – with the Water for Climate Pavilion. We have come together to speak with one voice for water. And beyond the Pavilion, it has been encouraging to see over 150 sessions about water-related issues being organized in other venues at COP28,” says Dani Gaillard-Picher, International Process & Policy Advisor at SIWI.
One of the most visited sessions on in the Water for Climate Pavilion programme was the announcement by Kazakhstan and France to jointly host the One Water Summit in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly in September 2024. As noted afterwards by Karin Gardes, this event will serve as a natural bridge between other events on next year’s water agenda, such as World Water Week 2024 and COP29, making sure that the voice of water is never silent.
“The key to influencing the formal negotiations is collective action, and that is what we have done – and will continue to do – with the Water for Climate Pavilion. We have come together to speak with one voice for water.”
Ivan Sjögren and Manuel Eckert, both Programme Officers in SIWI’s International Policy team, have received a lot of praise for their key roles in the coordination and execution of the Water for Climate Pavilion programme and other water-related events at COP28. On closing the conference, they note that the joint ambitions of the water community have been clearly demonstrated during the past two weeks.
“For us, the COP-wide Water Day was of course one highlight, and personally, I also enjoyed the thematic day on the Global Goal on Adaptation. This is an interesting but somewhat complex process and it was educational and inspiring to follow the discussions on the topic,” says Ivan Sjögren.
He points out that the far-reaching partnership of the Water for Climate Pavilion will not stop at COP28 but will be a continuous effort to keep pushing for water’s central role in climate action discussions, with an ambition to also influence formal processes.
“The far-reaching partnership of the Water for Climate Pavilion will not stop at COP28 but will be a continuous effort to keep pushing for water’s central role in climate action.”
Ruth Mathews, Senior Manager at SIWI, says that this and similar efforts are crucial to close the gap between the formal and informal part of the climate debate, between statements, commitments, and concrete action.
“Arriving at COP28, I was excited to see the diversity of the world coming together to forge a path to a future that is just, equitable, and livable for all life on the planet. But the political negotiations struggle to carry through on taking these steps. We must continue to realize that there is only one planet that we all live on together and that no one will escape the devastating impacts of unabated climate change,” she says.
Follow SIWI to COP28
Join SIWI in a range of events, onsite and online, as we highlight water’s role in effectively addressing climate change. We are also the leading organizer of the Water for Climate Pavilion, where much of the water-related events will take place.More about SIWI at COP28