Time to Act in Unison on the Climate Emergency

The recent IPCC report paints a grim picture of the future of our planet. A red code for humanity. We pushed the climate into unprecedented territory, and now is the time to act, says GWP Executive Secretary Darío Soto-Abril in a statement responding to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. He stresses that to succeed in the battle against climate disaster, we need to work in unison.

The IPCC Report contains many references to water – highlighting how climate change disrupts the water cycle, bringing about more intense rainfall and associated flooding, as well as more intense drought in many regions. The consequences can be devastating for people and nature.

In the IPCC press release, six references are made to “multiple different changes in different regions” – every one of which is related to water. GWP, and other water organisations, have been sounding the alarm on the water-climate link for years, including at the UNFCCC climate conferences (the latest in 2019).

Most recently, in June 2021, as part of marking its 25th anniversary, GWP published for the global development community a compendium of 25 stories from around the globe to help solve climate change challenges to water security: “Mobilising Change: 10 years of climate resilient water investments.”

Organisations that work on climate, water, and environmental issues will not be surprised at the latest IPCC’s statements. Our hope is that now climate negotiators will pay more attention to what the water community has been saying: don’t just focus on emissions and mitigation, it’s past due to also focus on resilience and adaptation.

That is why the global GWP Strategy includes climate-resilient development as a key goal, stressing the need for national adaptation planning, access to climate finance, and integrated resilience planning, including in water resources managment.

This is a strategic priority for us – at the country and regional level as much as the global level – and we are lucky to have found like-minded partners like the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the CEO Water Mandate, the 2030 Water Resources Group, the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), the Sustainable Markets Initiative, and many more with whom we are articulating a cohesive and collective response to water and climate challenges. By working together we will have more impact in supporting governments finding and implementing tangible solutions for the climate and water crisis.

While the IPCC Report presents a harsh reality check, it also states that human actions still have the potential to determine the future course of climate.

GWP’s regional and country teams are working 24/7 to support and scale up water-climate solutions coming from communities, governments, and businesses that are impacted by the imminent threat of climate change. We invite the global development community to join us!