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Water at COP25: Resilience enables climate change adaptation through better planning, governance and finance

Año: 2020
Categoría: Adaptación, Cambio climático, Recursos hídricos

Autores: Julien J. Harou John H. Matthews D. Mark Smith Rachael A. McDonnell Edoardo Borgomeo Jennifer J. Sara Judith Plummer Braeckman Nathanial Matthews James Dalton Mike D. Young Henk W. J. Ovink Musonda Mumba Martin Shouler Sanna Markkanen y Sebastian Vicuña

Revista: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Water Management 173(2): 55–58

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Abstract

The United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992 and governments have participated since then in its decision-making body, the ‘Conference of the Parties' (COP). Chile presided over the 25th annual COP held December 2019 in Madrid, Spain. While COPs necessarily emphasise energy negotiations and carbon mitigation policies, water is an increasingly prominent topic because of the need for water in energy production and its importance in nature-based and engineered adaptation and mitigation solutions. Climate-change-induced water impacts are key considerations in, for example, infrastructure planning under changing flood and drought risk, changing agricultural practices and hydropower. Already ninety percent of all-natural disasters are water related.

Water topics featured at many sessions and meetings of COP25, with the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) counting over 25 water-related sessions. Uncertain changes to the variability, timing and availability of water, and water's links across economic sectors, including food and energy production and transportation, imply that the ability of countries to realise their climate ambitions and address climate risks depends on water management and planning as an adaptation strategy. With effective climate policies and tools, countries can avoid increased regional and sectoral resource conflicts, social and economic disruption, environmental degradation and internal and international political conflict over water. Many COP25 sessions asked how should water be addressed in national climate plans? Below we briefly review some reports relevant to water management published in the run-up to COP25, and then summarise overarching themes discussed during the event.

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