UN 2023 Water Conference momentum

The UN 2023 Water Conference, which took place earlier this year, was a pivotal moment to spur water action. Deltares aimed to bridge the gap between policy, science, and action on the ground. To accelerate the implementation of solutions, enhance climate resilience , and facilitate sustainable development, it is our role is to connect these. We do so by mobilising forces and bringing together the necessary knowledge.

Deltares has harnessed the momentum created by the UN 2023 Water Conference and has actively engaged with key partners in the run up to COP28, with a specific focus on reinforcing existing partnerships and building better coordination between existing initiatives.

Water as a dealmaker for climate action

The UN Environment Programme estimates that 90% of natural disasters are water-related. Both people and planet affected. Water – too much, too little, or too dirty – can be a source of conflict, but also one of dialogue.

As Deltares, we believe water is a dealmaker and therefore has a key role to play in climate action. It is crucial in providing practical solutions, and in wider processes promoting peace and security. That is why we call on both the climate community and the water sector to engage with each other more and turn water into an opportunity to achieve the climate goals.

As a practical solution, water can for example be used in heating and cooling. Water bodies can be space for the production of renewable electricity, or as a nature-based solution for carbon capture and storage (CCS).

In cities, water can be used to bolster urban resilience. Building on the UN 2023 Water Conference and ongoing urban water resilience initiatives, COP28 will see the launch of a working group on urban water resilience under the Sharm el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda. This will crystallise the collaboration between key actors of urban water resilience, foster multilateral collaboration and coordinated action between local, regional, and national levels of governments and stakeholders.

Water can also forge connections. As a member of the Water, Peace and Security partnership we have worked with partners to advance integrated approaches to climate action, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding in priority regions with urgent climate security challenges. Deltares stresses the importance of long-term partnerships, capacity-building, and the role of data and tools to gain a clear understanding of both risks and impactful actions.

Deltares at COP28

COP28 is first and foremost an opportunity for world leaders to galvanise climate action. However, a limited Deltares delegation will be present in both the Green Zone and the Blue zone, to leverage action, and co-convene and attend side event with key partners and stakeholders including the Water, Peace and Security partnership, the International Panel on Deltas and Coastal Areas, and the Water as Leverage programme.

Our discussions will focus on implementing urgent actions to build a climate resilient, environmentally sustainable, and inclusive societies. Other key topics include urban resilience, nature-based solutions, and creating climate neutral infrastructure.

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