Dive into the heart of COP28, examine the critical discussions
on climate change and water security. Social Impact Pioneers – Farai Tunhuma and Uwe Steckhan of UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, join us from within the global climate conference in Dubai – COP28.
Our conversation begins with a focus on the crucial role of water in climate resilience. We explore how climate change exacerbates water scarcity and affects sanitation systems, directly impacting over 700 million children globally. The discussion emphasises the need for collaborative action in securing water resources and adapting to changing climate conditions.
The episode also sheds light on the intersection of private
sector involvement and climate action. With insights from the UNICEF private sector engagement team, we discuss how businesses can contribute positively to water security and climate resilience. The dialogue underscores the importance of private sector investment and innovation in addressing these global challenges.
Finally, Farai and Uwe reflect on their experiences at COP28, sharing how the conference has influenced their work and opened doors
for future collaborations. They highlight the importance of translating
discussions into action, emphasising the urgency of addressing climate change impacts on children and vulnerable communities.
How is climate change affecting water supplies?
Climate change is profoundly impacting water supplies globally. Rising temperatures and shifting weather patterns are causing more frequent and intense droughts, reducing freshwater availability. Conversely, severe storms and melting glaciers lead to flooding and water contamination. These changes threaten drinking water, agriculture, and ecosystems, intensifying the urgency for adaptive water management strategies. The need for urgent action was emphasized at COP28, highlighting the critical role of water in climate resilience and adaptation.
Why is UNICEF championing water and climate resilient WASH (water sanitation and Hygiene)?
UNICEF champions climate-resilient WASH due to its vital role in adapting to climate change. At COP28, UNICEF emphasized the need for water security, recognizing its central role in human existence and resilience against climate impacts like droughts and floods. With over 700 million children facing water scarcity, UNICEF’s focus on WASH is a critical step in protecting vulnerable communities and ensuring sustainable, accessible water and sanitation for all. This approach aligns with global climate adaptation goals, highlighting UNICEF’s commitment to safeguarding children’s futures in a changing climate.
How can we take action to create climate resilient WASH (water sanitation and Hygiene)?
To create climate-resilient WASH, we must integrate water, sanitation, and hygiene into global climate adaptation strategies, as emphasized at COP 28. Businesses can play a pivotal role, transforming these challenges into opportunities. By adopting efficient technologies, managing wastewater, and investing in sustainable practices, companies can both contribute to and benefit from water security. Collaborative efforts between the public sector, private businesses, and NGOs are vital to ensure effective, sustainable solutions, enhancing resilience against climate change impacts on WASH infrastructure.
UNICEF Global WASH Call to Action ahead of COP28: Liquid Assets at Risk | UNICEF : https://www.unicef.org/documents/liquid-assets-risk This Call to Action developed by UNICEF in collaboration with WaterAid and the CDP highlights the ways in which businesses and governments can work together to invest in sustainable safe drinking water and sanitation services as an essential first line of defence against the impacts of climate change. We launched this just before COP28.
UNICEF COP28 report: The climate-changed child – A Children’s Climate Risk Index supplement: The climate-changed child | UNICEF: https://www.unicef.org/reports/climate-changed-child The report details how children’s health is affected by climate change and contains new data on how and where children are exposed to water related threats that jeopardize their health and wellbeing. Also includes key asks for the private sector.