the Foundation Mary Robinson gave a plenary address at the International Water Association (IWA) World Congress on Water, Climate and Energy in Dublin on 15 May 2012. The Congress took place from 13-18 of May in Dublin with delegates from more than 60 cou
Mary Robinson gave a plenary address at the International Water Association (IWA) World Congress on Water, Climate and Energy in Dublin on 15 May 2012.
The Congress took place from 13-18 of May in Dublin with delegates from more than 60 countries. It was organised by the IWA, a network of 10,000 water professionals, and explored the topics of resilient and sustainable cities with a focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation.
During her speech, Mrs Robinson highlighted the human rights dimensions of water and encouraged the delegates at the Congress to tackle its agenda in a values led way. She said: “If we address the agenda on water, climate and energy, in a values led way we must put people at the centre of our concerns: their human rights, their right to development and the importance them of affordable, renewable energy for equitable sustainable development”.
Mrs Robinson said there is plenty of evidence to demonstrate the impacts climate change is having on water availability and water quality. She said: “In arid areas water is becoming scarcer and droughts more common. In coastal areas flooding and salt water intrusion affects water quality – this is a critical problem for many small island developing states. And then there are the changes to rainfall patterns and flooding – affecting both water availability and quality.”
Mrs Robinson told the delegates they have a role to play and that they can use a climate justice approach linking development, human rights and climate change to inform their work. She told them: “By maintaining a strong human rights focus, you will have new arguments for your work, for the investment required and for the actions that need to be taken.”