September 23, 2019, New York, New York — This morning at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, climate activist Greta Thunberg called out the failure of today’s leaders to act adequately to prevent the climate crisis. The effects of climate change are being felt around the world, with the changing climate affecting every aspect of the hydrologic cycle. Immediate action is needed to improve our understanding of water-related risks from climate change and to explore and implement strategies to reduce these risks.
In response to the urgent need for action on climate change, on September 20th the Pacific Institute joined two initiatives that highlight the critical role of water in the climate crisis. First, by signing the Call for Action: Raising Ambition for Climate Adaptation and Resilience, we committed to continuing to elevate the profile of water in future UN forums. Second, by endorsing the Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Manifesto, we committed to advancing nature-based solutions after the Climate Action Summit in New York.
We are busy actively elevating the conversation on the impacts of climate change on water resources at the Climate Action Summit. Before the Summit began, our President Jason Morrison and Senior Researcher Mai-Lan Ha worked to ensure water would be highlighted in the “Resilience and Adaptation” and “Nature-Based Solutions” tracks. Tomorrow September 24th, the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, a sustainable business initiative which the Pacific Institute serves as Co-Secretariat for, will convene an invitation-only side session during the Summit. This session will explore what is needed to ensure climate-resilient watersheds and how companies can contribute to these outcomes through environmental, social, economic, and governance lenses.
The Pacific Institute has published leading reports on climate change, energy, and water; elucidated the connections between climate change, migration, and conflict; investigated the impacts of climate change on agriculture, as well as adaptation strategies; evaluated the effects of climate change-induced sea-level rise on the California coast; and more. We believe it is not too late to act to slow the rate of climate change and to reduce the ultimate cost to public health, ecosystems, and the economy. We must reduce the severity of future climate change through efforts to cut or mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from our water systems, and we must adapt to climatic changes we can no longer avoid.