December 4, 2014 Climate changeEnvironment

Wise water Management, a Key for Successful Implementation of the New Climate Deal at the Cop 20

Water scarcity is a growing problem

Will the 4,000 diplomats from the world’s 196 countries gathered at the COP 20 this week in Lima prioritize water in climate negotiations?

The COP 20 climate talks currently taking place in Lima, Peru, offer an opportunity to pave the way for a binding global deal that recognizes and prioritizes the links between climate adaptation, mitigation and resilience. Focusing on water resources as a common denominator between the strategies could provide critical momentum to driving change.

Water is the primary medium through which climate change impacts humans, society and the environment. Water resources management that builds on ecosystem-based approaches is essential for securing resilience and a key component in disaster risk reduction. Water is also critical for successful climate change mitigation, as many efforts to reduce carbon emissions depend on reliable access to water resources.

The impact of water related hazards may exacerbate inequalities and are disproportionately borne by poor and vulnerable communities. Gradual sea-level rise poses an additional real threat to coastal communities and economic activities.

Wise water management strategies, supporting resilience and disaster risk reduction, are fundamental perspectives for the provision of safe water, livelihoods and sustainable energy sources. Supporting the sustenance, preservation and restoration of healthy ecosystems will increase resilience to water related disasters. Including key water resources management functions in adaptation planning processes will help in coping both with increasing climate variability and long-term shifts in climate conditions.

At the same time, the water sector contributes between 2-5% of global carbon emissions, as well as contributing towards other greenhouse gas emissions such as nitrogen oxides and methane, which drive climate change and extreme weather events such as floods and droughts. Energy efficiency, energy production and resource recovery in the water sector can make a significant contribution to reducing energy demand and diminishing carbon emissions.

The water sector can become more energy efficient by 2030 through major efficiency gains and by producing energy from wastewater treatment. Investment in these technologies can reduce water management costs. Recovering energy, and other resources, from the water and wastewater cycle provide further opportunities to establish a cyclical economy and make a major contribution to sustainability.

Viewed from this perspective, water will determine how economic development, human well-being and environmental sustainability will be achieved, as well as being critical to climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. Developing sustainable solutions for optimizing the water – energy – climate linkages will require technological innovation and close cooperation between sectors. The water – energy – climate linkages are at the heart of creating the sustainable economy of tomorrow.

Side event at COP 20

Wise water management – a fundament for climate mitigation and adaptation and key for successful implementation of the new climate deal

The side-event will share experiences and lessons learned in areas related to water management, energy efficiency, sustainable drainage systems, catchment protection and management and the promotion of policies which improves adaptive capacity and builds resilience, while aiming at not increasing the greenhouse gas emissions.

Case studies will be presented that illustrate the links between mitigation, adaptation and resilience strategies, and convey lessons learned for including an emphasis on improved water management within climate policies at both international, regional and national, local level. This includes the Water and Wastewater Companies for Climate Mitigation project working across local, national and international levels, and engages with national stakeholders around three pilot companies in Mexico, Peru and Thailand.

A panel discussion will address mitigation and adaptation strategies for water related impacts from climate change, linking policy and practice. The panelists will be invited to share their views and recommendations on how to better integrate this knowledge in the ongoing negotiations for a new climate agreement as well as how to converge over the water resources and climate change related challenges.

Date and time

Room Caral (130)
Wednesday 10 December 11:30 – 13:00


Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), France, UNESCO-IHP, and Leadership for Environment and Development, Pakistan (LEAD)


The side event is co-organized in collaboration with Sweden, the French Water Partnership (FWP) the Global Water Partnership (GWP), the National Water Authority of Peru (ANA), Servicio National de Meterología e Hidrología del Peru (SENAMHI), International Water Association (IWA), Conservation International (CI), Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), National Water Commission Mexico (Conagua) andUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

Panel discussion.

►Ms. Celia Blauel, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of environment, sustainable development, water, and of the energy-climate plan
►Dr. Krishna Chandra Paudel, Secretary of Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, Nepal
►Mr. Farrukh Khan, Senior Manager and Head Climate Finance, Executive office of the Secretary General, United Nations
►Mr. David Korenfeld Federman, General Director Conagua, Mexico and President of the International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP)
►Ms. Pepetua E Latasi, Negotiator Climate change and adaptation, Tuvalu
►Ms. Johanna Lissinger-Peitz, Deputy Director and Deputy Head of Delegation to the UNFCCC, Sweden

Concluding comments by the Moderator.
► Ms. Karin Lexén, Director, World Water Week and International Processes, SIWI

For more information download the leaflet.