Photo credit: UNFCCC 2022
The effects of the climate crisis on water scarcity came under scrutiny today at COP27. The topic of water was brought into sharp focus by a terrible drought in Africa, with very dry conditions threatening extreme hunger for over 150 million people. The UN noted that some 40 per cent of the world’s people is affected by water scarcity; 80 per cent of wastewater is discharged untreated into the environment, and more than 90 per cent of disasters are water-related.
The COP presidency launched a new initiative called AWARE (Action for Water Adaption and Resilience) which will offer solutions linked to water security and climate change, to communities and ecosystems that suffer or face water scarcity. The programme will work on decreasing water loss, propose and implement policy methods for adaptation and promote cooperation.
Gender also took centre stage on Monday. First, it was reaffirmed that women and girls are vital to solving the problem. There were also discussions on how women face particular problems when it comes to the climate crisis. Research has shown that women and girls face increased violence in areas affected by climate change and they tend to be more disadvantaged when it comes to crucial issues such as land rights and receiving investment and aid.
There was also a strong call to action from the COP President Sameh Shoukry who said, “I expect very few issues to remain open by the evening of Wednesday 16th November, when the near final text will be presented”. If you have been following our COP27 updates, you will know that the most contentious issue that of ‘loss and damage’. The UN published a draft text setting out what the COP27 delegates could agree on financially for countries ravaged by climate impacts.
The draft text, which is subject to change before it is adopted at the conclusion of the summit, contained several options to consider including reference to a new UN administered loss and damage fund and other arrangements for funding. Whatever is agreed, progress must be made in this area to ensure that developing nations and wealthier countries leave COP27 unified in the fight against climate change
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