Short-changed on climate change

Money, water and the people on the frontline
Public health Drinking water Climate change Fresh water Water security Sanitation Water supply

Climate change is affecting every aspect of life on the planet, putting the lives of the most vulnerable people under threat and multiplying risks they are already struggling with. The world urgently needs to make the shift to a low-carbon future to avoid irreversible damage to our planet.

But the more we allow global temperatures to rise, the greater the impact will be felt through our water. Without access to a water service that can withstand the impacts of climate change, communities cannot be resilient to anything.

The water crisis has been around for decades. Despite significant progress, around 800 million people still live without even a village water-pump or covered-well close to home. Two billion people live without a water service that is free from contamination, putting them at risk of water-borne disease and death. For these people, clean water is the difference between coping and not coping.

Key points:

  • Most of the poorest countries in the world are also the ones highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. They are also the countries that have contributed least to the crisis.
  • Clean water is a first line defence, but the most climate-vulnerable countries have some of the lowest levels of clean water access in the world.
  • Only 5% of climate finance is spent on helping countries adapt to climate change. Even less is spent in the most vulnerable countries, and less still on vital services like clean water, placing billions of lives at risk.
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