It is impossible to ignore the global water crisis. Cop26 to the detriment of billions of people’s lives, according to the charity WaterAid.
Water had not had “nearly enough” attention at the climate conference in Glasgow, with urgent action needed, said Tim Wainwright, chief executive of WaterAid.
“The way that climate change affects human beings is almost entirely through water, either too much or too little,” he said. “So why aren’t we talking about water all the time?
“We need the kind of action on water that we have already happening on the energy transition,” he said.
“I think this is the first Cop where people are beginning to sit up and take notice. It’s not enough to just take note. It needs a lot of action and it’s urgent,” he said.
A 2016 studyApproximately two-thirds of the world’s population, four billion people, were found to be under age 25. faced water shortagesMany were at higher risk of droughts and flooding as a result of the climate crisis.
“The climate crisis is a water crisis at its core,” he said. Rainfall patterns have changed in many parts of the world; “more intense and more frequent floods pollute water sources and destroy crops or homes, while longer and more frequent droughts dry up the springs many people need to survive.”
Wainwright stated that very little was being done to assist the affected communities. A WaterAid analysis of 2020 revealed that water received less than 3% of climate finance overall.
Rising sea levels were introducing sodium into water sources, and drought was pushing water underground in other places, he stated. This caused people, mostly women to spend more time and walk farther in search for water.
“Water is fundamental to life,” said Wainwright. “It underlies your health, your ability to have an education.”
He pointed out that the most vulnerable people in countries that contributed the least to the crisis are those who are suffering the most. This is why he recommended that investment in water supply management be concentrated in these areas.
He said that the main focus of discussions on the climate crisis was to slow it down, while ignoring the current impacts on some of the most climate-stressed areas of the globe.
“We need a revolution that takes us to zero carbon and we need a revolution that takes us to adapting the world to cope with the climate change that is irreversible,” he said.
A coalition of banks, governments, businesses, and non-governmental organizations pledged their support Friday for a fund to address the climate crisis. bring clean water to 50 million people in Africa and Asia by 2030.
Unless action was taken, the future would not be “not worth thinking about”, Wainwright added. “It’s calamitous. [A lack of access to water] is already killing people … It’s unthinkable not to do something about this. The world has to rise to this challenge.”