Opinion: Climate change is a threat and an opportunity for water and sanitation

Opinion: Climate change is a threat and an opportunity for water and sanitation. Devex, November 8 , 2016.


When collecting water women from the local community must walk across an area of barren ground that has been contaminated with saline after Cyclone Aila struck in 2009 in Bangladesh. Photo by: WaterAid

Author: By Louise Whiting, WaterAid.

Climate change and water, sanitation and hygiene are inseparable. The persistent separation of climate policymaking and WASH service delivery, combined with incoherent climate finance strategies, risks restricting progress for both. In a cluttered and confusing climate change policy landscape, there are two crucial things to remember:

1. Climate change is water change, and it affects poor people most, especially those without access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

2. Although it’s a threat to global WASH access, climate change also represents a huge opportunity, if we play our cards right. Increasing political attention, growing climate finance, and a long-overdue focus on the threats to sustainable WASH services offer us new mechanisms to help achieve the target of universal access by 2030.

Fortunately, the U.N. annual climate talks taking place in Marrakech over the next two weeks now turn to the implementation of the historic Paris agreement signed in December 2016. The agreement came into force on Nov. 4, so it’s now time to face the multitude of critical decisions required to turn this agreement into meaningful action.

Read the complete article.

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