Coalition vows to back HRH The Prince of Wales’ climate initiative and bring clean water to 50 million people in Africa and Asia by 2030
A determined coalition of governments, businesses, regional banks and NGOs today pledged their support for an ambitious water and climate change fund - backed by HRH The Prince of Wales - which would turn an initial investment of $20 million into $600 million in climate finance aimed at bringing clean water to 50 million people in Africa and Asia by 2030.
At the private online event, hosted during COP26 as part of the HRH The Prince of Wales’ Terra Carta Forum, parties made their pledges and called for urgent action to ensure water resources and services can withstand the devastating impacts of climate change. Already, four billion people across the globe face water shortages, and many are at increased risk of floods and droughts brought on by the climate crisis.
The Resilient Water Accelerator (Accelerator) brings together governments, the private sector, industry experts and civil society to harness funds and water expertise. It aims to kick start further investment by governments, donors and the private sector of an estimated $600 million in the first five years to secure access to clean water for vulnerable communities across the globe.
The UK, Dutch and Swedish governments as well as HRH The Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative, the African Development Bank and WaterAid were among those who pledged their support during the closed event.
The Right Honourable Lord Zac Goldsmith, on behalf of the UK Government, said:
“Water is absolutely central to human health, sustaining our ecosystems, and to our survival. The global water crisis we are experiencing is exacerbated by climate change and requires an urgent scaling up of both ambition and finance. That is why the UK Government is backing the Resilient Water Accelerator as part of the Adaptation Action Coalition to achieve a climate resilient world by 2030.”
Tim Wainwright, Chief Executive of WaterAid, which is leading the Accelerator coalition, said:
“The climate crisis is a water crisis at its core; more intense and more frequent floods pollute water sources and destroy crops or homes, while longer and more frequent droughts dry up the springs many people need to survive. “Our future and the future of our children depends on the health of our planet. With two billion people already struggling to access safe water, the impacts of climate change mean that far more people - and indeed our planet - are facing an unprecedented crisis. The slower we act the higher cost.
“It is crucial the public and private sector unite to meet this challenge. We have the skills, knowledge and resources to end this crisis and turn an existential threat into the promise of a new green economy - one that values the natural resources we all draw from and saves lives.”
The Accelerator is also partnering with other efforts, such as the Africa Urban Water Resilience Initiative, led by World Resources Institute and partners, which helps African cities address climate and water challenges.
The funds will be used to design programmes that provide access to clean water in an initial five countries in Africa and Asia by 2023. In this first stage, the programmes that the Accelerator designs, when funded will reach at least 50 million people in water-stressed areas with reliable and sustainable water sources by 2030.
The Accelerator is part of the Sustainable Markets Initiative to speed up global progress towards a sustainable future. Its co-chair, Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, said:
“Through the SMI, business leaders are working with governments and other key stakeholders to develop private-sector-led solutions that will help ensure a sustainable future. The Resilient Water Accelerator will help mobilize the private sector capital we need to develop new approaches, technologies and opportunities to provide clean and safe water for millions.”
Dr. Beth Dunford, Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, African Development Bank said:
"The Accelerator will not only help Africa to break down barriers to investment: it will help us to reduce the risks to our future posed by water and climate. It will help us build on the progress made to date. It will help us build firm foundations for enduring prosperity. This is why the African Development Bank sees value in collaborating around the Accelerator - to fast track solutions to the most vulnerable, in the most needy areas."
Tim Wainwright added:
“If we don’t act now, millions more people will struggle to stay healthy, grow food, maintain livestock or even survive, unless clean water, good sanitation and hygiene are prioritised as vital adaptation measures to face climate change.
“The Accelerator is a unique part of the solution to the climate and water crisis. We are extremely grateful to HRH The Prince of Wales for supporting this initiative, which will deliver clean water to millions across the globe and save many lives.”
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Notes to Editors:
The Accelerator will support vulnerable communities in designing comprehensive and investible climate resilient water security programmes that will enable them to unlock investments from domestic, public, climate and private financing sources. The Accelerator will deliver $3-4mn in funding, expert assistance, resource mobilisation and advocacy support for in-country partnerships to design climate-resilient water security programs in each of five countries for a total of $15-20mn in funding disbursed over the pilot phase of the Accelerator. With the governments at the heart of the partnership, it is expected that domestic funding will go into these projects, which will attract loan financing from other donors and development banks which in turn will leverage private capital. While the funding raised to implement these projects could range from $30-400mn depending on the size and other factors, across the first five countries a total of at least $600mn in investment is expected to be raised – a mix of public funding (60-70%) and private investment (30-40%). The $0.5 of private financing raised for every $1 of public financing is a conservative assumption based on the mobilisation ratios seen with funding delivered by multilateral development banks and funds in past years.