What's the story?
Most people experience the impacts of climate change through water – too much or too little. More frequent and extreme floods are polluting fragile water sources. Longer droughts are drying up springs and wells. And increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather is destroying people's livelihoods.
The climate crisis is a water crisis. It's happening right now, and it's only getting worse.
And yet, just 1.7% of climate finance has been spent on the critical work of making sure that everyone has access to clean water whatever the weather. That's what we're here to change – and you can help.
Who's paying the price?
As our climate changes, and reliable water sources become harder to find, it’s ordinary people who are already suffering the consequences – simply because they happen to live somewhere that's become vulnerable to extreme or unpredictable weather.
Sumi is 18. She lives on the banks of the Sutarkhali River in Bangladesh. Super cyclone Amphan in 2020 destroyed most of the community's toilets. "We got used to using the makeshift bridges made of bamboo but imagine how difficult it is when we need to cross the bridge every time we need to use the toilet."
When you have no choice but to drink dirty water, and when you don't have a decent toilet, it affects every part of your life. Walking hours – every single day – to fetch water takes time that could be better spent in work or education. When you fall ill, you can't go to work or school. And very quickly that means your life, livelihood and future is at risk. Uncertainty and insecurity become part of daily life.
This isn't fair, and it shouldn't be normal – for anyone.
What are we calling for?
We're asking our government to invest one third of our international climate finance budget in locally-led adaptation projects that will bring a year-round supply of clean water to those most in need – and to persuade other governments to make similar commitments.
With clean water and decent toilets, people living with the impacts of climate change will be able to stay healthy, go to work or school, and take control of their futures – whatever the weather. Clean water is hope.
COP28, the world's biggest decision-making forum for action on climate change, is coming up. If we influence the agenda now there's more chance it will result in the urgent, immediate action needed – because people living with increasingly extreme weather, who are witnessing the catastrophic loss of their way of life, simply don't have time to wait.