Speech by Minister De Bruijn at the COP26 side event ‘Water and Climate: On the Road to the UN 2023 Water Conference’
Word of welcome by Tom de Bruijn, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, at the COP26 side event ‘Water and Climate: On the Road to the UN 2023 Water Conference’, 8 November 2021 in Glasgow.
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, on behalf of UNDESA, UN Water and the World Bank, welcome to the water pavilion. The result of a collective effort by over 30 organisations, governments and companies.
First of all I would like to thank the First Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr Jamshed Shoimzoda, for co-organising this important event ahead of the UN 2023 Water Conference. We are both looking forward to all your contributions on the road to this conference, and your contributions to the Water Action Decade in general.
Water must be at the core of effective climate action. We need to convince climate decision-makers of this. By delivering cutting-edge, science-based advice. And showing that many powerful water-related solutions are already available to us.
For example: Investing in wetlands is a highly efficient way to capture carbon. Investing in water management can reduce water consumption in agriculture and manufacturing. Improved water management will help us adapt to climate change and make vulnerable communities more resilient. These are easy wins, but only if we make water central to climate action.
At the same time, of course, we need other smart solutions and decisions to solve the climate crisis, which is in fact also a water crisis. That’s why we’re keen to hear your ideas about this.
To hear how you think you can contribute as we approach the UN 2023 Water Conference. Because you’re the ones with the necessary knowledge, experience and skills.
Let us know, for instance, how can we work together with different sectors. Like agriculture and industry – large Green House Gas emitters.
Let us know how we can close material loops in a way that minimises carbon emissions and energy use;
How we can treat wastewater so it’s clean enough to reuse;
Or how to give a voice to those who are affected the most by this crisis, but who are usually unheard.
So that we can truly understand, value and manage water more effectively. Take joint action, and change and transform approaches.
In order to achieve the climate mitigation and adaptation goals we’ve set ourselves.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m convinced we can create a world where everyone has access to high-quality water. All year round.
But we can only accomplish this in the short term if we act now. If we all invest in water. So, help us tackle climate change, through water action. And value water for what it is: the key to sustainable solutions.