Message to COP27: Think Water

Water Policy Group urges all governments to integrate action on water and climate change at every level and calls on experts and organizations to support this ambition.

We echo this week’s statement by Water and Climate Leaders  which challenged governments to acknowledge in the negotiated outcome document for COP27 the important contribution water can make to climate mitigation and adaptation.

We also welcome the release of Essential Drop To Net Zero: Unpacking Freshwater’s Role In Climate Change Mitigation and its detailed analysis of how improved water management can contribute to emission reductions and in doing so deliver multiple other benefits. The report finds that wastewater treatment and discharge account for 11.84 per cent and 4.28 per cent of global methane and nitrous oxide emissions, respectively, and that emissions from untreated wastewater are three times higher than emissions from conventional wastewater treatment plants. These climate benefits should enhance the investment case for improved wastewater management—adding to the proven economic, social and environment benefits.

Water can be managed to achieve higher climate resilience with adaptation interventions throughout the water cycle, lowering energy demand, boosting sustainable agriculture, and improving health. The WPG urges commitment to innovative water policies to enable the full realization of SDG6 while pursuing Paris Agreement goals.

The climate emergency requires water resources and water services to be better managed than ever before.  This can and must be done!

Water Policy Group
10 November 2022

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