Climate change threatening access to water and sanitationAccording to UNECE and the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe (WH...Climate change threatening access to water and sanitation
According to UNECE and the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe), despite being a priority aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement, plans to make water access possible in the face of climate pressures, “are absent” in the pan-European region.
And “in most cases” throughout the region of 56 countries, there is also a lack of coordination on drinking water, sanitation and health, intergovernmental discussions in Geneva heard this week.
“From reduced water availability and contamination of water supplies to damage to sewerage infrastructure, these risks are set to increase significantly unless countries step up measures to increase resilience now,” warned Mr. Croll-Knight.
It is estimated that more than one third of the European Union will be under “high water stress” by the 2070s, by which time the number of additional people affected (compared to 2007) is expected to surge to 16–44 million.
And globally, each 1°C increase caused by global warming is projected to result in a 20 per cent reduction in renewable water resources, affecting an additional seven per cent of the population.
Dangers are real
Meanwhile, as governments prepare for the next UN climate conference (COP 27) in November and the UN 2023 Water Conference, UNECE painted a potentially grim picture moving forward in parts of Europe.