Countries must work urgently to solve water issues caused by climate change, a Dutch official billed as the world’s only “water ambassador” said Monday, backing a dire warning from the UN.
Henk Ovink said nations should be planning now to anticipate future problems, from flooding or sea level rises at one end of the scale to drought and conflict over water resources at the other.
“We need a radical change,” said Ovink, the special representative on water affairs for the Netherlands, who says his post is the only one of its kind in the world.
“There is this urgent need to change, the IPCC report is right, we are not heading in the right direction,” he told a small group of international journalists in The Hague.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) said in a landmark report Monday that warming is on track toward an unliveable 3C or 4C rise and avoiding global chaos will require a major transformation.