Speaking at the fifth World Water Forum—now drawing to a close in Istanbul–executives of some of the world’s largest businesses called on climate change agreement negotiators to link and consider water, energy and climate change issues in an integrated fashion in critical, upcoming international negotiations.
“Water plays a central role in many of the world’s most pressing issues, among them climate change, energy security and the need to spur economic growth. The time has passed for commitment alone – we must act,” ITT Corp.’s CEO Steve R. Loranger said in a World Business Council for Sustainable Development media release.
“The search for solutions must involve all players – government, NGOs, multilateral institutions and, importantly, the private sector. We believe the five recommendations of this paper will make that search more effective and, ultimately, more fruitful.”
WBCSD Report Offers Insights
The business execs spoke during the release of the WBCSD’s latest report, “Water, Energy and Climate Change: A contribution from the business community.”
“Water is everybody’s business. It is used to generate energy, and energy is used to provide water. Climate change will affect the use and availability of both. It is important that we get the policies right,” said Björn Stigson, the organization’s president.
“The World Water Forum in Istanbul has done a lot to focus attention on water, energy and climate change. But there is still a significant gap in addressing all three together at a global level. We must link them in the climate negotiations to have any real hope of finding a solution.”
The report, which includes 25 case studies illustrating how businesses are attempting to address water, energy and climate issues in an integrated fashion, lays out five policy recommendations for climate negotiators to consider in the run-up to the IPCC meeting in Copenhagen in December:
– Provide reliable climate change risk data, models and analysis tools;
– Integrate water and energy efficiency in measurement tools and policy;
– Bring water issues into the mainstream, and ensure that water authorities and institutions have staff trained to deliver common management practices, education and awareness raising;
– Integrate and value ecosystem services (the benefits that nature provides to society, such as water and forest products) into cross-border decision-making;
– Encourage best practice through innovation, appropriate solutions and community engagement.