The second week of COP27 began with “Women and water day”. The large impact of climate change on our water bodies and the women being in powerful charge as key drivers in providing climate solutions was the center agenda at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Alongside, the negotiations based on important issues of loss & damage continued.
The main focus of COP27 on Monday was to recognize and value the women that are trying to bring innovative climate action ideas and solutions. Also, understand how the current structures are hindering women’s engagement. UN women even said that as per evidence, representation of women in national parliaments can help countries in adapting stricter climate change policies.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said “Girls and women are effective, powerful, and essential leaders for addressing climate change-related crises. But, they are largely underestimated and undervalued with not enough access to technology and training extension services, important for effective adaptation to climate change impacts”. She emphasized that a very simple yet effective solution is there for this, putting the women in lead.
The Executive Director of UN women laid out three asks from the COP27 on gender equality:
1. Special measures for women: Measures like quotas, increasing women’s meaningful and equal leadership and participation at different levels of decision-making. Addressing the inequalities, which include control and access to productive resources like technology, land, and finance, especially for women from marginalized and poor communities.
2. Alternative development model: Supporting just transition specifically for women by designing an alternative development model.
3. Global investments for girls & women in developing countries: Emphasizing investments, globally for women in developing countries to directly enhance and foster their skills, knowledge, and resilience. Moreover, women-based organizations are protected and supported.
Water-related discussions involved how humans created climate crises that are leading to significant changes even in the global water cycle. This is making the water scarce due to rapid evaporation and droughts but is also causing heavy rainfall events with varying frequency, as well as acceleration in the melting of glaciers. These effects are mostly felt and seen in developing countries.
In a new report, in 2021 alone, more than 100 natural hazards events were seen in Asia, where 80% were storm and flood events. Also, the melting of important glaciers like that of the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayas is a worrying concern as they are a source of fresh water for billions of people.
COP27 presidency launched an action plan on Water Adaptation and Resilience Initiative (AWARe) to raise a point on adaptation and water investments for those communities in Africa that are most vulnerable. Almost 40% of the world’s population is suffering from water scarcity, 80% of untreated wastewater is discharged into the environment, and 90% of the world’s disasters are because of water.