AIWW statement: Please bring water to the forefront at COP26
Put water at the hearth of climate action as it can act as a catalyst to solve climate issues such as resiliency, biodiversity and sustainable development much quicker. This was the key message of the global water community at the Amsterdam International Water Week 2021 to the delegates at the climate summit COP26 in Glasgow.
Dutch special water envoy Henk Ovink delivered the statement personally to the COP26 on 4 November.
Integrate blue and green solutions
Despite the many COVID-19 travel restrictions, many water leaders of cities, utilities and industries gathered again at the 6th edition of Integrated Leaders Forum. The forum is a permanent highlight of the bi-annual Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW) programme.
This year’s edition of the AIWW focused on green-blue deals that build on societal, technical and ecological aspects of water management. Therefore it was hardly a surprise that in their statement, the participants of the AIWW’s Integrated Leaders Forum invited the delegates at the COP26 to join hands and add ‘blue’ to the ‘green’ climate deals.
The AIWW-statement invites the delegates at the COP26 to forge broad coalitions across all sectors, enable the integration of water and climate programmes that can connect regions, basins, sectors, communities, practices and policies. ‘Let us find a common language using water as a catalyst, learn from challenges, disasters, pandemics, climate exacerbated changes and accelerate our ambitions with integrated water solutions’, the statement says.
A joined effort
An important pillar for a common language is the use of numbers. According to the statement, water can be measured in units so it can be managed. Clean water, clean energy and climate adaptation can be complimentary and negative environmental effects can be addressed in joint programmes.
After the signing ceremony, the declaration was handed over to Dutch special water envoy who brought it to the COP26 in Glasgow the same day. Upon accepting the AIWW-statement Ovink said he would bring the message to the table of the climate community. ‘Here in Amsterdam, you underpinned that the climate crises is mainly a water crises. So climate action is also water action.'