Ahead of COP26, hundreds of experts from across the water sector have issued a call to action that commits water professionals to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
In the largest collaborative exercise of its kind to take place in the water sector, 12 organisations including the Institution of Chemical Engineers, the International Water Association, Royal Society of Chemistry, Institute of Water, Water UK, British Water, Future Water Association, Royal Society of Biology, Society for the Environment, Institution of Civil Engineers, and WaterAid have been hosting a series of online conferences in the run up to COP26.
The collaboration explored the water sector’s role in adapting and building resilience to climate change, along with mitigation strategies, financing, clean transport, clean energy and the exploitation of nature-based solutions, leading to the Call to Action.
The water community is now committed to challenging existing operational practices in a bid to reduce emissions from the sector,
and use a life cycle approach to inform decisions that will achieve the most beneficial changes.
Cate Lamb, the UNFCC COP26 High Level Climate Action Champions Lead for Water issued the Call, noting that wider society does not take the role that water plays in climate change seriously enough.
Rob Bradley, Chair of the organising committee said: “An overarching theme of the programme leading up to the Call has been one of collaboration between all people who wish to give voice to the water sector’s role by providing workable solutions to the climate crisis that confronts us.”
Martin Currie, who facilitated all of the discussions said: “It has been wonderful collaborating across the international water sector on climate change. Droughts, flooding and climate-impacts on water quality are already a part of life that the water sector must adapt to.
Participants are also recording individual Action Pledges which will be taken to COP26 to highlight the breadth of climate action across the water sector.”
The full text of the Call to Action can be found here: