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Climate change is increasing the incidence, frequency and magnitude of natural disasters and exacerbating the vulnerability of many countries and communities. It is therefore essential to enhance resilience and the capacity to adapt to a changing climate, above all for the poor who are the most affected. Photo © C&S Northway

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Photo by: Whiz-Ka (Flickr)
Contact: Jean-Claude Deutsch, jean-claude@enpc.fr, +33 01 44 08 72 79

Launched in 2015, the “Megacities Alliance for Water and Climate” initiative aims to enhance capacity building between megacities so that they can adapt better to climate change. It includes the setting up of a world-wide cooperation platform, within two years, to improve the dialogue on adapting to or mitigating the effects of climate change related to water in megacities which presently includes 32 local activities. The initiative aims help keep the global average temperature rise to below 1.5°C/ 2°C .

10 megacities, from all over the world, are involved in the initiative as well as two international organisations and one French organisation. During the ‘Water, Megacities and Global Change’ conference (Dec. 1-4), the number of members is set to increase, based on the existing expressions of interest. All megacities can join the initiative.

Targets and milestones:

  • 2016-2017: an international Task Force under the auspices of UNESCO-IHP (International Hydrological Programme) will be set up to provide the preliminary conditions for the emergence of this platform. The Task Force will collaborate with UNESCO water family actors. ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) is a partner of this initiative.
  • 2018: the cooperation platform is in operation.
  • 2016-…: realisation of 32 local commitments.


  • the realisation of concrete local actions;
  • collecting data at a worldwide scale about strategies and results developed by local authorities and their water operators;
  • developing experience sharing between academics and operators and improving adaptation through best practices assessments;
  • identifying the means and mechanisms for funding the adaptation of megacities to the impacts of climate change on urban water.

This platform will report its activities by raising awareness on water and megacities to an international level; by promoting cross sector participation in different forums of debate and international conferences, focusing on climate change, water, or human settlements; organizing every three years an international conference on water in megacities; and updating knowledge and reviewing progress made both in research and operational terms. It could also enable the monitoring from COP to COP of the post-2015 commitments made in Paris at the COP 21.

Photo credit: Whiz-Ka (Flickr)

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