Expert Speak: How can climate change policy and finance improve access to WASH services?

15 Aug, 2019 in Partner Perspective Categories


In July 2019, Sanitation and Water for All’s (SWA) research and learning partner, WaterAid presented policy briefs at the High-Level Political Forum on ‘Financing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’ and Climate change adaptation and resilience and water, sanitation and hygiene’ (WASH). As climate change threatens to reverse the progress made in the sector, it’s crucial to analyze how WASH fits in to climate change adaptation decisions, especially climate financing. For this, SWA spoke to Jonathan Farr, Senior Policy Analyst for Water Security and Climate Change at WaterAid

Here are the excerpts from the interview:  

SWA Q1: Seeing that financing for the WASH sector per se is quite limited and insufficient, is it possible to leverage climate financing? And, how do we do that?  


SWA Q2: In the policy brief on financing the SDGs, WaterAid writes, "Governments should increase priority to WASH in their expenditure, and work with partners to ensure resources are effectively invested in building systems to ensure lasting services for people in greatest poverty and marginalisation." The question that naturally comes out is– Do you see a role for the SWA in this, since the SWA's purpose is to increase political (and thus, financial) priority to the WASH sector, moreover, the SWA Framework of Building Blocks and Collaborative Behaviours helps understand and strengthen the sector systems. What role do you see SWA playing? 


SWA Q3: The financing brief also states,"A worldwide implementation of a carbon tax and the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies would be effective in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, lessening local air pollution and boosting government revenues. Funds raised could make a major difference in enabling vulnerable countries and communities adapt to the negative impacts of climate change, including growing water insecurity." First, this is an excellent idea - so, congratulations. Going even further, the Brief says that "it is right that any redirection of funds away from subsidising the causes of climate change should be distributed as a compensatory investment in building the resilience of those vulnerable communities." So, the question is: what are the first steps WaterAid is planning to take in this direction? 


To read WaterAid’s policy briefs from the 2019 High Level Political Forum, click here