Water plays a vital role in addressing the climate crisis. Neglecting freshwater considerations in our efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change will impede our progress toward meeting the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.
It is widely recognized that climate change has far-reaching impacts on hydrological patterns, leading to unprecedented droughts and floods worldwide. Less commonly understood is the relationship between water resources and emissions reduction. Water serves as a crucial component in the production of renewable fuels like hydrogen and biofuels, as well as represents a source of clean energy through hydropower, is essential for cooling nuclear power plants and producing rare earths used in battery production. Additionally, natural ecosystems like wetlands, peatlands, and forests rely on water for their carbon absorption capabilities, and methods of irrigation, wastewater treatment, and water storage and distribution directly influence emissions.
The success of the climate mitigation objectives outlined in the Paris Agreement depends critically on the availability and sustainable management of water resources. However, these resources face mounting pressures due to increased demands for food and energy security, clean drinking water and sanitation, as well as economic development.
This event will present the latest knowledge on the dependency of Paris Agreement targets on the sustainable management of water resources and share solutions for successfully implementing water and climate-related goals. Related policy implications will be discussed.
Moderator – Dr. Stefan Uhlenbrook, Director Hydrology, Water and Cryosphere, WMO
Opening – Water as part of the climate solution – Prof. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, WMO
Keynote – Water requirements to achieve the Paris Agreement – Professor Greg Leslie, Director, Global Water Institute, University of New South Wales, International Universities Climate Alliance
Reflections – Further assessment possibilities by the IPCC – Jim Skea, Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Panel discussion: Incorporating water in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and in UNFCCC processes
- Prof. Dr. Hani Sewilam, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt
- Takahiro Konami, Director, International Affairs Office, Water and Disaster Management Bureau, MLIT, Japan
- Mr. James Grabert, Director, Mitigation Division, UNFCCC
- Senior representative of the United Kingdom (TBC)
Closing – Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director General of the National Center of Meteorology, UAE and President of WMO