Cancun Dialogs Recognize Reciprocal Importance of Water and Climate Change

Once climate change affects the water cycle, its impacts continue in domino fashion on food, power, and natural protection, said the head of Mexico's national water commission.

José Luis Luege Tamargo, director general of the National Water Commission of Mexico (CONAGUA), said that the effects of climate change are mostly felt in the water cycle, through extreme hydro-meteorological phenomena, but also in terms of greater variability in water resources quality and quantity, with consequent affectations for other economic sectors, such as food production, power generation and natural protection.

Jose Luis Luege Tamargo

The director general provided a recap of all of the discussions held during the Dialogs for Water and Climate Change (D4WCC), an event held over Dec. 1-3 and 6 in parallel to the 16th Conference of Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Cancun, Mexico.

The High-Level Panel on Water and Climate Change brought together renowned figures including Yolanda Kakabadse, chair, WWF International; Michel Jarraud, secretary general, World Meteorological Organization; Luis Alberto Moreno, president, IADB; Maria Mutagamba, minister of Water and Environment, Uganda; Anders Berntell, executive director, Stockholm International Water Institute; Simon Brooks, vice president, European Investment Bank; Rachel Kyte, vice president, International Finance Corporation; Laura Tuck, World Bank; Tim Kasten, vice-chair, UN-Water/UNEP; and Henk van Schaik, Cooperative Programme on Water and Climate. The debate was moderated by the World Economic Forum.

The representative of Ángel Gurría, secretary general of the OECD, called to strengthen water governance for climate change adaptation, as a much less expensive measure, since without water the goals set in terms of carbon capture will be impossible to achieve, thus compromising sustainable human development.