Water and climate are inextricably linked. The relationship between water and climate is far-reaching, and water is an important element in addressing and mitigating climate change.
Within the framework of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which will be held from 30 November to 12 December 2023 in Dubai, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as co-chairs of the UN 2023 Water Conference at the invitation of the United Arab Emirates, are leading the COP28 Water agenda.
As part of this process, in order to form the content of the priority areas of the COP28 Water Agenda, the parties sought to increase awareness of the world community about the importance of including water issues in the global climate agenda, as well as to strengthen water issues in the official outcome documents of COP28.
In order to make the role of water more visible and strengthen the position and voice of water in the climate agenda, 3 areas have been identified, including 1) Water for mitigation, 2) Water for adaptation and resilience, and 3) Enablers that can be used by the parties as a starting point when discussing the outcome document of the COP28 negotiations.
Based on the fruitful work of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates, together with various development partners, the following events will be organized within the framework of COP28:
— The Water Climate Action Summit will be held on 2 December 2023. World leaders, heads of state, government and other dignitaries are expected to attend the Summit. The summit aims to advance the outcomes of the UN 2023 Water Conference, mobilize high-level political and financial support for action on water and climate change, integrate action into national climate planning processes such as Nationally Determined Contributions, and increase collective ambition to finance and implement these plans before COP30 in 2025.
— Water for Climate Action: Scaling finance and investment for people and the planet. The high-level event will explore concrete options where financing water can contribute to the climate finance agenda and the broader ambition to reimagine the global financial architecture, in line with the MDBs joint Call to Action on Scaling Up Financing for Climate Resilient Water, that will be launched during the COP28 World Climate Action Summit.
— Water pavilion. This is a space to unite the voice of the international water community to further promote water security, sustainable water management and water risk reduction as climate solutions, strengthen relationships with negotiators and party groups that can become water advocates in formal negotiations, further advance climate commitments registered in the Water Action Agenda. The Water Pavilion will host various events and meetings to raise the profile of water and its role in achieving climate resilience.
– Water Day. The COP28 thematic program designates 10 December as Food, Agriculture and Water Day. On priority water topics, 3 high-level events will be organized at the level of ministers and city mayors, as a result of which tangible results are expected to be adopted. Additionally, to support countries in improving their national climate plans, the Ministerial Dialogue on Building Water Resilient Food Systems, led by the UNFCCC Climate Resilient Food Systems (CRFS) Alliance, will establish a two-year Working Group on Water Resilient Food Systems.
— Water in the outcome documents of COP28. The partnership between Tajikistan, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates is an example of how countries can work together to address the water and climate challenges of the 21st century. The most important result of the joint work is strengthening the position of water in the outcome documents of COP28. Active work is underway with Member States and other development partners; their support is expected during negotiations. A stronger voice for water at COP28 is needed to ensure water is given the priority it deserves. Water must be integrated into all aspects of climate action, from adaptation to mitigation.