SIWI's nine lessons to help us win the race to zero

Water Day 2020: nine lessons to help us win the race to zero

  • Climate Resilience
  • Climate Change

On 12 November 2020, Water Day was held to showcase practical water actions that can deliver transformative climate solutions. Under the leadership of the UNFCCC High-Level Champions, the Race to Zero Dialogues’ Water event featured more than 50 of the world’s most prominent water and climate experts. From this, SIWI has developed nine important lessons that can help us reach a net-zero carbon emission, climate-resilient future. 

  1. Support and contribute to the Climate Action Pathway for Water which aims to lay out a clear vision for the water community to reach a 1.5-degree climate-resilient world by 2050
  2. The water sector must make bold climate action commitments through the protection and restoration of freshwater resources for ecosystems and people; the sustainable use and distribution of water for governments, businesses, investors and citizens; and the reuse of freshwater and wastewater at a global scale
  3. Water is a critical part of the mitigation solution. Mitigation is sometimes a lesser-known aspect of how water and climate change are interlinked.
  4. Protect and restore 30 per cent of the Earth’s water-related natural ecosystems by 2030. Water-related ecosystems hold untapped potential for sequestering carbon and at the same time play an increasingly significant role protecting us from the impacts of climate change. 
  5. Rethink our food systems. Today’s food production is heavily dependent on scarce water resources and is very energy-intensive with a large carbon footprint.
  6. Value water. During the Closing session of Water Day, Carolina Schmidt, COP25 President and Minister of Environment of Chile, stated that “the world must now transform how it manages its water”.
  7. Place water at the centre of national climate plans. As Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme stressed, many countries already refer to water in their Nationally Determined Contributions, but only a few see water’s full potential to help countries meet their Paris Agreement targets.
  8. The private sector has a critical role to play through more ambitious actions that create positive, reinforcing ambition loops between the public and private sector.
  9. Invest in a new generation of wastewater treatment. Governments can start by promoting policies that enable the complete and net-zero treatment, reuse and recycling of wastewater.

Read more about these nine lessons and Water Day 2020 here: