News.Nov 24, 2023

Six messages to COP28

Half-way through the Paris Agreement, how can we make sure that important steps made at COP27 lead now to concrete action? SIWI is participating in COP28 with the determination to ensure water is recognized as a decisive factor for effective climate action.

Andreas Karlsson (Communications)
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Andreas Karlsson

In 2022, at COP27 in Egypt, water flowed for the first time onto the paper of the cover decision, the climate conference’s main political agreement. The parties recognized the “critical role of protecting, conserving and restoring water systems and water-related ecosystems in delivering climate adaptation benefits and co-benefits, while ensuring social and environmental safeguards.”

Those are beautiful words, pointing towards ambitious climate action though water. They are also important words. On a piece of paper. Turning that vital and much welcome recognition of water into action and behaviour change on global scale will not come easy, but SIWI firmly believes that it is possible. And we commit to support every step of that process with our experience and expertise.

For that reason, SIWI will participate when the world gathers again, for COP28 which starts on 30 November in Dubai, UAE. We will be there to keep raising awareness of water’s crucial role in climate action and to showcase powerful water-related solutions for impactful climate action. We want to show that by embracing such solutions, there is a realistic possibility to successfully address climate issues; that water is indeed the make-or-break factor in climate action.

At COP28, SIWI will call on decision-makers to recognize that:

  • all pathways to net zero require massive transformations of every sector of society, such as food and energy, but that none of this will be possible without reliable access to freshwater,
  • climate adaptation and mitigation can only be effective if approached holistically, such as through source to sea management. This means the bridging of institutional and legislative silos across all sectors and borders, and the entire water cycle,
  • holistic approaches offer multi-solutions, simultaneously addressing sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, environmental protection, and biodiversity targets,
  • climate change is one of the most significant drivers of growing poverty and inequality, so universal access to clean water and safely managed sanitation is key to climate justice and resilience. Investing in improved water and sanitation management and governance systems must therefore be a top priority,
  • to be effective, climate strategies must be inclusive, paying particular attention to include those who are most affected by the strategies and decisions,
  • nature-based solutions hold much promise for reducing climate change impacts and must therefore be part of ambitious climate action. One example is forests’ ability to effectively store carbon, limit erosion of riverbanks, improve water quality, and reduce disaster risks by slowing rivers and flooding and preventing landslides.

Follow SIWI to COP28

COP28 takes place in Dubai, UAE (30 November - 12 December). 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.

Follow SIWI to COP28
Swirly water from above, with turquoise, blue and white shades. COP28 UAE logo