The WASH4Work initiative, with the participation of Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), has released a declaration at the climate summit COP27 in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, supporting actions to increase climate resilience in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Having access to WASH builds people’s resilience to climate change. This can and must be achieved by enabling improved water security, limiting exposure to water-related risks, and building the capacity to manage the impacts of climate change.
The declaration, supported by 25+ global businesses and 15 WASH expert organisations, demonstrates the alignment, leadership and commitment of the corporate water stewardship community to create the pathways for systemic change, in partnership with water, sanitation and hygiene experts and stakeholders.
The purpose of the “COP27 Business Declaration on Climate Resilient Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH)” is to contribute to the advancement of sustainable development goals SDG6 (access to water and sanitation) and SDG13 (action against climate change and its impacts) by 2030, with the goal of enabling millions of people to become more water secure and climate resilient.
Read the declaration below.
THE CASE FOR BUSINESS ACTION
Water is the primary medium through which climate change influences the Earth’s ecosystem and thus all economic, social and environmental functions that water supports.
Water-related climate risks arise from too much water, too little water and polluted water. Climate change directly affects the quality and quantity of water supplies, and impacts on the sustainability of sanitation and hygiene behaviors, especially for the most vulnerable.
Unsafe and unreliable drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services at home or at work impacts people’s heath, well-being and livelihoods. Water security and climate resilience helps to enable healthy people and communities, business continuity and growth, across operations, supply chains and in the sourcing of raw materials.
Having access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) helps to build people’s resilience to climate change.
In order to be resilient to the challenges that climate change brings, people along corporate value chains and in the communities where they live, need to be water secure.
Water security includes reliable access to sufficient quantities of good quality water, limited exposure and reduced vulnerability to water-related risks, and the capacity to manage the impacts from climate change at home and at work.
Safely managed sanitation, hygiene and water supply reduce exposure to harmful diseases and underpin public health enabling people to better cope with climate change impacts.
Efficient and effective water supply services increase the amount of clean water people have access to in times of scarcity. For example, during extreme climate events. Increased water storage, in harmony with the environment, provides a critical buffer, delivering water when and where it is needed.
Sources: WASH4Work, UNICEF, WaterAid, Water.org and Pacific Institute
1. As global businesses, we are committed to taking action towards universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) across our operations, supply chains and in the communities where we operate – as part of our corporate water stewardship strategies.
2. In the face of the growing risks of climate change we recognize that water, sanitation and hygiene access is an important component of climate and water resilience actions:
- Climate change is already impacting on people”s access to water, sanitation and hygiene; through its significant impacts on the water cycle.
- Climate change disproportionality affects the most vulnerable; often combined with other existing hazards and vulnerabilities that impact people”s level of resilience.
- Having access to WASH helps to build people”s resilience to climate change; enabling improved water security, limiting exposure to water-related risks, and building the capacity to manage climate change impacts.
3. Going forward we join global and local stakeholders in developing and applying a climate-resilient WASH framework to our water, sanitation and hygiene access programs and investments.
The framework for action will include the following considerations:
- Assessment of climate risk: Understanding the local context of climate change, water systems and water resources: Hazards, exposure, and vulnerability.
- Impacts of climate risks on WASH: Understanding the impacts of climate change on water, sanitation and hygiene access, services continuity and reliability.
- Preparedness and adaptation: Planning for the timely response to expected climate impacts and potential adaptation of water supply, sanitation and hygiene services.
- Solutions and implementation: Identifying opportunities to improve water, sanitation and hygiene services with climate-smart low carbon infrastructure, technologies, and capacity building in communities.
- Testing and monitoring: Identifying opportunities to continuously improve the continuity and reliability of services through benchmarking, evaluation, and validation.
- Reporting & disclosure: Contributing to advancements in leading practice by sharing learnings, findings, and impacts in collaboration with our stakeholders.
4. As global businesses we will leverage our broad reach and influence to help advocate for climate resilient WASH actions in partnership with global and local stakeholders.
The purpose of this Declaration is to contribute to the advancement of SDG6 & SDG13 by 2030, with the goal of enabling millions of people to become more water secure and climate resilient.
It demonstrates the leadership and commitment of the corporate water stewardship community to create the pathways for systemic change, in partnership with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) experts and stakeholders.
We, as the WASH4Work initiative, invite more businesses to join us in this COP27 declaration, to mobilize the leadership and partnership needed to shape a more climate resilient water, sanitation and hygiene secure world.
WASH4Work members and supporters of the Declaration:
APP SINAR MAS
THE COCA-COLA COMPANY
ALLIANCE FOR WATER STEWARDSHIP
CEO WATER MANDATE
GLOBAL WATER CHALLENGE
INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION
SANITATION & WATER FOR ALL
TOILET BOARD COALITION
WATER RESILIENCE COALITION
Top image: climate resilient toilet facility, higher than ground level to protect from flooding, in Chattogram, Bangladesh