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NEWS: Water highlighted in draft text for Durban climate talks

Bloomberg reports, “Water resources have been explicitly highlighted in a United Nations draft text that may shape a future climate-change treaty, according to Elias Freig, manager of carbon finance and economics of climate change of Mexico´s National Water Commission.”

“Freig (was) among delegates from almost 200 countries meeting in Bonn (from June 6 to 17) to advance negotiations over a global climate treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.”

Freig says, “Water has to be brought into the climate-change agenda; it must come under the UNFCCC. …This will bring attention to water issues and the hope that, in the future, when the Green Fund has been established and the rules on how it will work are decided on, funds can be directed towards water-related projects (such as desalination plants, coastal defenses and hydro-power stations) linked to climate change.”

The article notes, “Ecuador put the issue of water on the radar of UN climate negotiations during the COP-16 meeting in Cancun last December, Freig said.”

Along with Ecuador and evidently Mexico, supporters of this initiative include Sudan, Syria, Chile, El Salvador, Sierra Leone and South Africa.

The Council of Canadians believes climate justice and water justice are inter-related. But given water is a human right, and given market mechanisms have been foremost in the climate negotiations (including the World Bank to administer the Green Fund), we reject the inclusion of water in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change talks this November 28 to December 9 in Durban, South Africa.

Blue Planet Project organizer Anil Naidoo says, “We are against water being in the UNFCCC because it is a neo-liberal agreement. We want the UNFCCC to consider the impacts on water in their deliberations and in the mechanisms they are proposing. A water impact assessment would be good. We also want them to see dealing with the water crisis through the principles of water justice and sustainable environments as part of the overall solution, but we do not want or need water to be officially in the UNFCCC. This will give major leverage for big dams projects, water markets, pricing and the false green economy initiatives we are fighting.”

The full article is at