Public-private coordination needed to protect water resources in the face of climate change

          • Santiago, 04 November 2014

          An event co-organized by ICC, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has highlighted how coordination between public and private sectors and investment in infrastructure should be a fundamental element for Latin American countries to take into account when developing climate change adaptation plans, especially in light of long-term changes being observed in water resources.

          Public-private coordination needed to protect water resources in the face of climate change

          Entitled ‘Water Resources Subject to Uncertainty and Climate Change Risk: Tools for Decision-Makers in the Public and Private Sectors’, the forum was held at ECLAC headquarters in Santiago on 29-30 October.

          In his opening remarks, Manuel Jose Vial, President of ICC Chile and Board Member of the Federation of Chilean Industry (SOFOFA), said: “This forum is a key vehicle to discuss and develop practical steps for the transition towards greener economies. Collaboration between the private sector and governments can facilitate adaptation to climate change, and promote the adoption of adequate policies in this area."

          Antonio Prado, ECLAC's Deputy Executive Secretary, said: “Investment is the bridge between the short and medium term, and studies on the costs and effects of climate change enable officials to get an early start and adapt infrastructure projects for the coming decades.”

          Other speakers who attended the event include Fernando Farias, Head of the Climate Change Office, Environment Ministry of Chile; Mark Redwood, Programme Leader on Climate Change and Water, International Development Research Centre; and Jurgen Klenk, Senior Advisor, German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ).

          The event featured debates on public policy applied to human settlements in Latin America and the consequences of climate change in the use of water resources. Jordi Valls, General Manager at GDF Suez's equity stake in Chilean water utility Aguas Andinas, showcased the resilience of water companies to adapt climate change to new scenarios. Camilo Cerda with Siemens Chile presented among other subjects practical applications for water efficiency improvement.

          Speakers applauded the timeliness of the meeting, ahead of the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 20), which will be held in December in Lima. They also warned about the complex hydrological situation that the region could face in the coming years as a consequence of countries' economic growth, combined with the effects of global warming.

          Through its Commission on Energy and Environment, ICC acts as the voice for global business on regulatory and market issues concerning energy and environment, including in the UN climate change process.

          Read more about the Commission’s involvement in the UN Climate Conference taking place this year in Lima.

          Learn more about the ICC Commission on Energy and Environment

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