Adaptation, Climate Talks, COP21 - Paris, Water

Opportunities for resilient growth and climate change adaptation of water resources during COP21

This article is written by Daniela Gutierrez.

It is not a secret that water is an essential element for development. Nevertheless, the world faces several issues regarding the integrated management of this resource. For example “800 million people do not have access to drinking water” said Ségolène Royal French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. During the first three days of COP21, two important announcements were made by several representatives of the government and multilateral organisations regarding resilience and climate change adaptation, which inherently are related to water challenges. These were the “Secretary- General’s Climate Resilience” and the “Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change adaptation”.


Ban Ki Moon speaking at the UN’s Secretary General’s High- Level meeting on resilience.

The new initiative launched by Ban Ki Moon in COP21 (see picture 1) aims to increase resilience by the improvement of capacity-building in the areas of anticipation of climate extreme events, observation of shocks and reduction of risk at national and international level. Several presidents from developed, developing and LDCs made their pledges regarding this new initiative, some of them relate to the position of African countries, such as Egypt on the need of support (financial or technical) to address impacts of climate change, topic that is currently being negotiated in the agreement. The Netherlands, for instance, as a country with plenty of experience in water management will help developing countries to strengthen their resilience and boost their prosperity by contributing 50 million euros for the resilience program.

Peruvian Minister of Environment and French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy speaking at the Lima Paris Action Agenda focus on resilience

On the other hand, the “Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation” launched by Perú and France (See picture 2) signed by 87 countries involves 1 billion USD in financing which will be allocated in countries such as India answering to the countries’ issue on increasing groundwater consumption or Morocco taking into account its susceptibility to drought or Kenya regarding its disbalance between water supply and demand.

Lots of spin-offs have happened during the negotiations around the ADP, for example related to the decision to stress urgency on the process of accelerating the implementation of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol in order to enhance pre- 2020 ambition. Next saturday December the 5th is the date set by the President of the Conference to have a final politically consensual draft of the text. These concrete commitments mentioned above (Resilience initiative and Paris Pact on Water) are clear opportunities and roadmaps for the Parties to continue the discussion and debate around climate change and specifically in resilience and water adaptation to climate change during the next few days so an agreement is finally reached. Several NGOs are involved in the process and advocating for different topics, as a matter of fact, CliMates Position Statement on COP21 has specific recommendations in regard to the allocation of finance for Green Fund.



Author: Daniela Gutierrez. Environmental engineer, Student of Environmental Management and Policy Master’s degree Lund University, volunteer researcher at resilient cities project within CliMates “Youth Visions for the future” program and delegate of CliMates in the COP21.

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