HRH The Prince of Wales and WaterAid to host major Water and Climate Summit

HRH The Prince of Wales and WaterAid will host a major water and climate summit in London this spring. HRH, who is WaterAid’s President, will join leaders from government, business and multilateral institutions to debate and drive action on the urgent and overlooked issue of how the climate crisis is affecting the water that people need to survive in a warming world. The Water and Climate summit will form part of HRH’s year of action on people and planet that was announced as part of his keynote address at Davos. 

Having clean water close to home is one of the first lines of defence against climate change. However, 2 billion people currently lack access to a reliable source of clean water and their lives are already being pushed to the brink.

The day-long summit will be the first of its kind, and will see key figures from politics, business, media and civil society coming together to agree how to address the impact of the climate crisis on access to water, sanitation and hygiene. A key focus of the summit will be establishing clean water and sanitation as the top priority for COP 26’s adaptation discussions, which takes place in Glasgow this November.

No other impact of climate change will be as immediate or widespread as the impact it has on water. Climate change increases the unpredictability of weather patterns and extreme weather events: how much, how often, and how intensively it rains, and the frequency and severity of extreme events. Floods disrupt sanitation services leading to diseases, longer droughts mean women have to walk even further to collect water, and rising seas pollute water supplies making it too salty to drink.

A recent report published from the Global Commission on Adaptation predicted that the number of people who lack sufficient water at least one month per year will soar from 3.6bn today to more than 5bn by 2050 – that’s over half of the predicted population by this date. 

Tim Wainwright, WaterAid’s CEO, said: “For the millions of people who lack access to clean water, the climate crisis is today’s reality, not an abstract future. There’s no better investment than getting a reliable water supply and decent toilets to everyone, but currently this is a long way down the list of priorities for governments and climate funders.  We’re bringing together the people who have the power to change this to work on urgent and decisive actions to protect people from the impacts of the climate crisis.”  
The water and climate summit will take place on 10 March 2020 in central London. Journalists interested in attending should email Emily Pritchard for further details. 

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