Istanbul, 19 March 2009 – Business leaders from some of the world’s biggest companies today called for water, energy and climate change to be linked in global negotiations, such as the international climate talks due to culminate in Copenhagen in December.
The business leaders were speaking at the launch of a report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development at the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul. The forum is expected to produce a ministerial statement calling for proactive policies on water issues.
“Water is everybody’s business. It is used to generate energy, and energy is used to provide water. Climate change will affect the use and availability of both. It is important that we get the policies right,” said Björn Stigson, president of the WBCSD.
“The World Water Forum in Istanbul has done a lot to focus attention on water, energy and climate change. But there is still a significant gap in addressing all three together at a global level. We must link them in the climate negotiations to have any real hope of finding a solution.”
The report, Water, Energy and Climate Change: A contribution from the business community ( 1.8 MB), says water, energy and climate change are inextricably linked.
“Water plays a central role in many of the world’s most pressing issues, among them climate change, energy security and the need to spur economic growth. The time has passed for commitment alone – we must act,” said Steve R. Loranger, CEO of ITT Corporation and co-chair of the WBCSD Water Project.
The paper lists five important policy recommendations from business to climate negotiators and policy-makers. These are:
* Provide reliable climate change risk data, models and analysis tools.
* Integrate water and energy efficiency in measurement tools and policy.
* Bring water issues into the mainstream, and ensure that water authorities and institutions have staff trained to deliver common management practices, education and awareness raising.
* Integrate and value ecosystem services (the benefits that nature provides to society, such as water and forest products) into cross-border decision-making.
* Encourage best practice through innovation, appropriate solutions and community engagement.
It also includes 25 case studies showing how business is already linking water, energy and climate across their operations.