The Climate Action Pathways outline the longer-term vision for a 1.5-degree climate-resilient world and sets out actions needed to achieve that future, so they can be important resources in 2020 as countries strive to meet the temperature goals laid down in the Paris Agreement.

The documents were developed in a collaborative effort with the coalitions and initiatives of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, under the leadership of the High-Level Champions.

The bottom line is that active participation by all of us—governments, businesses, investors, regions and more—is needed if we are to overcome the climate emergency we currently face,

...said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa in Madrid.

One of the Climate Action Pathways focuses on water. By 2050, the water sector will be largely decarbonized through the use of alternative energy sources such as solar and combined heat and power cogeneration, as well as through aggressive conservation, reuse and efficiency efforts.

Water resources management will be integrated into climate planning at all levels (including transboundary), and across sectors to ensure that water is available in adequate quantity and quality at the time it is needed for both people and ecosystems.

Milestones towards 2050

->By 2020

  • Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and national adaptation plans (NAPs) will be updated to include resilient water management approaches/tools.

--> By 2030

  • Enabling environment for resilient water management is put in place.
  • Access to conventional and alternative climate finance for water-related mitigation and adaptation projects is mainstreamed.
  • Climate adaptation and resilience efforts will be underway in at least 100 river and groundwater basins worldwide (including transboundary).

--->By 2050

  • Transition to low carbon climate-resilient water infrastructure and governance, based on resilient water management is completed.
  • Water is considered in all national climate mitigation and adaptation plans.
  • At least 100 cities have developed and implemented integrated urban water resilience planning and investment to address critical vulnerabilities in water-related infrastructure and management.

This will be accomplished by instituting climate-resilient water governance, institutions, basin organizations, and regulatory and legal frameworks that ensure full inclusion of all stakeholders, especially disadvantaged and underrepresented groups, such as ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups.

Progress in 2019 

  • As of 2019, over USD 8 billion in certified climate water bonds has been issued, in compliance with water infrastructure criteria for both built and nature-based water projects set by the Climate Bonds Initiative. Standards for hydropower are expected in 2020.
  • As of 2018, 150 national adaptation focal points have received basic training on resilient water management for enabling climate change mitigation and adaptation goals. Dozens more are set to receive in-depth training though month-long regional adaptation training certifications, set to start in 2020.
  • As of 2019, over 50 companies with USD 650 billion in annual revenue have joined the Business Alliance for Water and Climate (BAFWAC) commitment to: Analyze and share water related risks to implement collaborative response strategies, measure and report water use data, and reduce impacts on water in operations and throughout their value chains. At the same, time over 160 companies have endorsed the CEO Water Mandate Pledge.
  • As of 2019, roughly 80% of intended NDCs include water-related adaptation measures.