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News Water and Climate Coalition, launched at COP26

The world has a climate crisis and a water crisis, but the two are rarely seen as being two sides of the same coin. A new group called the Water and Climate Coalition, launched at COP26, aims to make good on that by firming up the links between the two and hence preventing parts of the world from either drowning or being parched.

According to Hungarian president János Áder, one of the world leaders behind the coalition, around 80 per cent of climate impacts are manifested through water – extreme precipitationdrought, melting ice, sea-level rise and more. And yet, said Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the climate and hydrological systems are often treated as separate problems.

For example, about 90 per cent of people live in countries that share freshwater resources with neighbouring states, and for 60 per cent of these there is no existing agreement on equitable sharing. At the same time, climate change could cause resources to dwindle. Failure to cooperate could lead to future conflict over resources, said Áder.

“If we are unable to resolve the water crisis, reaching the sustainable development goals will be difficult or impossible,” he said.

Climate-induced drought is also a threat to global agriculture and hence food security, said Taalas. In other places, too much water in the form of heavy rain or melting glaciers is a threat. Both are clearly understood as being caused by climate change, but climate mitigation and adaptation measures often don’t consider the hydrological side of the equation.

By 2030, the coalition aims to create a global water observation system much like the WMO’s current climate and weather-monitoring system, and ultimately integrate the two.


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News type Inbrief
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Source of information newscientis
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News date 09/11/2021
Working language(s) ENGLISH