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News EU Water Policies must be linked to climate

At the Climate Change Committee's Fourth Thematic session on Tuesday, MEPs and experts discussed the complex links between global warming and the world's water. Water scarcity, climate change and sustainable development, it was agreed, are issues which are closely linked and cannot be successfully tackled in isolation.

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) official Kaveh Zahedi, speaking on behalf of UNEP Executive Director  Achim Steiner, argued that "it is hard to draw a line between where water ends and climate change begins; and between where climate change ends and sustainable development begins." It was clear, he added, that without a far-reaching post-Kyoto climate change regime, "our ability to reach the Millennium Development Goals, as they relate to water and other issues, will be impossible." That said, "we cannot confine water in a box and address it with exclusively water related policies.”
Developing countries will not be the only ones to suffer water-related problems from climate change. Southern Europe, said Mr Zahedi, is due to become "especially vulnerable to droughts": rainfall in the region, he warned, may fall "by as much as 80% over the coming decades". Any sensible water policy for Europe and beyond, he concluded, "must include combating climate change, just as any sensible climate change policy must have water at its very core”.
Professor Riccardo Petrella, President of the European Research Institute on Water Policy, underlined the human dimension of global water scarcity by pointing out that "1.5 billion people have no access to drinkable water and 2.6 billion people don’t have access to a clean toilet. The ecological disaster is really a cultural disaster,” he said.

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News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information European Parliament
Keyword(s) water scarcity, sustainable development
Geographical coverage EU
News date 07/02/2008
Working language(s) ENGLISH , FRENCH