Press Release.Nov 09, 2020

Don’t miss Water Day on 12 November!

The world’s greenhouse gas emissions must be drastically reduced to reach net-zero by 2050, at the latest. This requires more effective climate policies and bold commitments from countries, cities, companies and citizens.

During Water Day, on 12 November, a broad range of speakers will talk about how water can help us address the climate crisis. The day is open to the public and organized by Stockholm International Water Institute, SIWI, together with partner organizations as part of the Race to Zero November Dialogues, 9-19 November. Follow Water Day live on youtube! 

The Dialogues, supported by the High-Level Champions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, focus on concrete steps toward carbon neutrality for ten key sectors of society. SIWI and partner organizations within the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action lead the development of one such Climate Action Pathway for water, an important foundation for the Water Day.

“The Race to Zero Dialogues offers us the extraordinary opportunity to unite around our most ambitious water-inspired ideas and solutions to tackle climate change and to showcase commitments from around the world,” says Jennifer Jun from SIWI who is managing the event as the Water co-focal point within the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action.

The Water Day will explore water’s role in climate action, with leading experts from a broad range of sectors. It will be opened by the two High-Level Champions behind the Race to Zero campaign, Gonzalo Muñoz of Chile and Nigel Topping of the UK. Participating from SIWI are Torgny Holmgren, Maggie White, Jennifer Jun, Ruth Mathews, and Ziyanda Mpakama.

The speaker line-up also includes, among others:

 Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. UNEP plays an important role to ensure that the world addresses both the climate crisis and the degradation of nature.

Ertharin Cousin, Fellow at Stanford University and former Executive Director of World Food Programme.

Matt Damon, Actor and Co-Founder, and WaterEquity [by video] and Vedika Bhandarkar, Chief Global Impact Officer,

Ma Jun, named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by TIME magazine, for, among others, his 1999 book China’s Water Crisis which ushered in a new era of environmental awareness in China. Today, Ma Jun leads the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Professor Rockström is one of the world’s foremost thinkers on climate, water and resilience. In 2009 he led the team that developed the concept of Planetary Boundaries that the world cannot afford to transgress. Later, his “carbon law” described a model for a fast transition to a fossil-free economy.

Cardinal Peter Turkson is Pope Francis’s chief advisor on climate change, a topic explored in the Pope’s compelling “Laudato Si” message, Praise Be to You. Cardinal Turkson will talk about integral ecology and integral human development through water.

Akhona Xotyeni is a South African youth activist and environmentalist who advocates for young voices from the Global South particularly those from the most vulnerable populations to be heard in the international climate action arena.


For more information, please contact: Jennifer Jun, Co-focal point Water Day, +46 8 1213 60 01;  Maria Sköld, Press Secretary, +46 720 506033

Click here to see the full programme with all speakers!

Follow the Livestream here!

Learn more about water and climate here!


Water Day 12 November

The Water Day is organized by SIWI, along with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), UN Global Compact/CEO Water Mandate, and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The day aims to showcase the water community’s vision of a zero-carbon, resilient future and the water-related tools and solutions needed to win the Race to Zero.


Race to Zero

The Race to Zero campaign was launched to inspire more actors to commit to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. November Dialogues are held 9-19 November with an exciting programme of activities to help countries, regions, cities, companies and organizations take the steps necessary.



Stockholm International Water Institute is a world-leading expert on water governance, water diplomacy and cooperation over shared water resources. The not-for-profit foundation is headquartered in Stockholm but works globally as an advisor to governments, cities, and companies on policies for a more water-wise world. It hosts several UN programmes and international collaborations.

SIWI awards the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize and the Stockholm Junior Water Prizes. Every year since 1991 it organizes World Water Week, the leading annual event for global water issues with participants from more than 130 countries.