The Global Commission on the Economics of Water (GCEW) will be present at COP28 in Dubai with an important delegation comprising three co-chairs, eight Commissioners, and the Secretariat. Together, across a series of events including a flagship event on December 4, the Commission will advocate for the importance of the role of water in keeping 1.5C alive, and prepare the high level context for next year’s launch of its final report.

The Commission emphasizes that water is not merely a vital resource; its scarcity or excess directly translates into economic costs. Despite its pervasive influence across scales, sectors, and Sustainable Development Goals, water policies often remain isolated. Yet climate change is water change: every 1C of global mean temperature rise adds 7% of moisture to the atmosphere, drying soils, increasing evaporation and supercharging the water cycle, making rainfall more erratic. Among the solutions the GCEW will recommend in its 2024 report will be a shift from market-fixing to market-shaping economics, as transformation requires tailored incentives.

The scale of this COP28 in Dubai is unprecedented: nearly 100,000 delegates are registered, with 170 agenda items tabled for discussion by countries or negotiating blocs. Success hinges on a handful of key items: a fossil fuel phaseout deal, new clean energy targets, increased finance commitments and the operationalization of the Loss & Damage fund.

The list of events where co-chairs and commissioners will participate is below.

1 December

15:30–16:10 Gulf Standard Time

Panel Session: Water for Climate Pavilion Inauguration Ceremony

A panel discussion with the Global Commission on the Economics of Water and others, including youth. This session provides an opportunity for the GCEW to frame the discussion on the complex interactions between water, finance, food, trade and climate. It will be followed by a Q&A session.

4 December

0:830–10:30 Gulf Standard Time

Nature and Water Finance for Climate Action

This high-level event, part of the COP28 Presidency Program, will bring together public and private, conventional and innovative financiers to spotlight key efforts to mobilize finance at scale for water and nature, and to contribute to the delivery of the UN SDGs, the Paris Agreement and the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

14:00–14:45 Gulf Standard Time

The critical role of water in keeping 1.5°C: Water for Climate – GCEW flagship Event

This event will discuss the critical role of water in keeping 1.5°C and aims to explore the conditions to building coalitions for the appropriate courses of action, now and in the future and to pave the way for future coalition and partnerships with country champions and IFIs.

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