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  • by Karma Loveday

Global water sector unveils 26 utilities joining in Race to Zero as COP26 gets underway

As COP26 opened, the international water community announced 26 water utilities serving 72m people have now joined the Race to Zero, to drive down the emissions associated with providing water and wastewater services. This included 13 new Australian and one new New Zealand water utility members.

Race to Zero is the UN-backed, global campaign to rally leadership and support from all non-state actors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery. All members are committed to the same overarching goal: halving global emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the very latest.

Adam Lovell, executive director of the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA), said: “Climate change is already causing irreversible harm. But it also creates opportunities. The urban water industry is at the cutting edge of many innovations to reduce its carbon footprint like producing renewable energy, harvesting the valuable resources that can be recovered through wastewater treatment, producing green hydrogen and ammonia which can be used as green fuels, and transitioning to electric vehicles.

“Congratulations to all the Australian and New Zealand water utilities for this show of commitment and leadership on climate change, the most important issue of our time.”

Water UK has been working as an official partner to the Race to Zero to encourage providers of water and wastewater services around the world to commit to achieving net zero and will be hosting and taking part in a series of events in Glasgow this week.

The international water community will hosts the first ever COP Water Pavilion, bringing together over 30 organisations, governments and companies to speak with one voice on the powerful water-related solutions that are at the heart of effective climate action. The Pavilion aims to deliver cutting edge, science-based advice to climate decision makers and offer countries the opportunity to learn more about the central role that water plays in the climate crisis.


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