GWP advances water financing agenda at COP23

GWP took part in the COP 23 UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany, on 6-17 November, to promote climate change adaptation through water resources management. Various streams of GWP’s work on climate resilience were highlighted, and financing for water was a key component in many discussions.

GWP showcased its Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP), the Associated Programme on Flood Management (APFM), the Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP), and the GWP-UNICEF collaboration on climate resilience in WASH. Focus was on continued support for National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), support for the adaptation components of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), south-south cooperation and knowledge exchange, and coherence with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other global agendas.

“The main theme for COP23 was about how to mainstream the NDCs with government and national policies – and not only governments but also the private sector, investors, financiers, and all non-state actors. And how to make sure that the NDCs and the SDGs are integrated and aligned,” said GWP Chair Oyun Sanjaasuren as she summed up her impressions of the conference.

GWP took part in many events – highlights included the Youth for Water and Climate event, and Realising Multi-Stakeholders Mobilisation and Readiness to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) On the ‘Action Day’ for water, agriculture and energy (November 10), GWP participated in the opening plenary and in a High-level Panel on Water and Climate Finance as well as an event about water scarcity in agriculture – along with a number of other events.

Financing for water was a reoccurring theme in many discussions, and GWP met with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to see how to best work together to help countries access funding for project preparation.

“The COP 23 discussions on financing have been a bit slow because of the US government position, but nevertheless countries have demonstrated resilience to move ahead and make sure that the global phenomenon we have on climate change is addressed. Water featured very prominently,” said GWP Southern Africa Executive Secretary Alex Simalabwi.

“What strikes me at this COP is that every other session is on financing, and we heard the latest estimations on the climate finance flows – around 410 billion dollars. However, one figure stood out: only 22 billion dollars of this goes to adaptation; that’s 5%. This is a very confronting statistic because behind it you have a growing vulnerability divide. The 22-billion-dollar question is how do we quickly close this vulnerability gap”, said GWP Resource Mobilisation and Partnership Manager Nicolas Delaunay.

GWP summed up its key messages in a Briefing Note, which urged the COP 23 Parties to:

  1. Acknowledge water as an integral pathway to build climate resilience and implement the Paris Agreement
  2. Step up implementation actions that deliver on the Paris Agreement
    • Develop plans and implementation roadmaps for NAPs and NDCs at the national, water sector and subsector level, linking to existing and planned water-related adaptation activities
    • Formulate investment plans to finance implementation of NDC roadmaps
    • Develop funding proposals to support investment plans and implementation of water-related adaptation measures
    • Ensure technical and institutional capacity to plan, implement, and monitor NDC-related activities
    • Promote coherence and coordination at all levels in implementation of water-related actions in the NDCs and SDGs