On 2 Nov, at COP 26, world leaders launched the formation of a water and climate coalition, led by the governments of Tajikistan and Hungary. The secretariat of the coalition will be hosted by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
Full details of coalition membership can be found here.
The coalition aims to address water scarcity and water hazards due to climate change and to overcome fragmentation. It will pursue an integrated water and climate agenda to facilitate sustainable development and national mitigation and adaptation actions towards Sustainable Development Goals 6 (water and sanitation) and 13 (Climate Action).
The coalition aims both to provide strategic guidance on integrating to the water and climate agendas and to raise awareness on water-climate interactions.
Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of WMO, referred to the most recent IPCC report predicting increased aridity in the Amazonia region area as well as the Mediterranean, Southern Africa, parts of Australia and eastern Asia, all of which will impact negatively on food production.
Evaporation and changed rainfall patterns will reduce soil moisture in the Americas, the Mediterranean, and eastern Australia. Areas which will face increased rainfall include the Sahara and higher latitudes both in the north and the south of the globe.
The coalition will strive to create an integrated monitoring framework on water and climate, but also to help diffuse tensions between countries and regions over access to and control over water resources.
President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan highlighted that climate change affects our lives and our economies through water resources. He also referred to the importance of glaciers, reminding the audience that Tajikistan proposed that 2025 be declared the International Year for Glacier Conservation and that a fund be established to further glacier conservation.
President Rahmon pointed out that 2022 will feature the International Conference on the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development (the ‘Dushanbe Process’).
The Dushanbe Conference will be pivotal in the preparatory process on the 2023 Mid Term Review of the Implementation of the Water Decade in New York co-chaired by the Netherlands and Tajikistan.