Water and energy play essential role in fighting climate change

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The second day of the Global Symposium on Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions is taking place at the Visitor Reception Center (CRV) of Itaipu Binacional, Right Bank. The sessions address the interconnection of these two strategic resources with other key aspects for sustainable development, such as climate change, cross-border cooperation, social impact and economic effects.

The first session of the day covered the climate change scenario and was attended by local and international leaders. Gajanana Hegde, head of the Implementation Unit of the Regulatory Framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), noted that 85% of carbon emissions come from energy use. He therefore called for integrated and sustainable water management for optimal use and supply, as well as for the care of ecosystems.

For his part, Peter Burek, of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, presented the different models that involve the sustainable use of water in industries, in agriculture and in households, so as to be able to guarantee access to the vital liquid in the future.

In turn, Nora Páez, from the Paraguayan Ministry of Environment’s Climate Change Directorate, presented the scope of the National Climate Change Plan and stressed that for the fulfillment of public policies, coordinated work with hydroelectric plants is essential, for which she highlighted the initiatives that Itaipu has been promoting.

Subsequently, a session was held on transboundary issues of water and energy and environmental interrelations, which was moderated by Dr. María Antonia Gwynn, Itaipu Binacional board member. At this event, Carlos Zaldívar, the Vice Minister of Mines and Energy of our country, presented Itaipu as an example of a key player for energy integration in South America. He assured that Paraguay is the nation with the largest clean energy exports and today the challenge is to diversify the energy matrix.

José Toron, of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), added that, in order to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, it is necessary to establish comprehensive global policies aimed at the energy transition based on renewable energies.

In his presentation, Massamba Thioye of the UNFCCC urged participants to join forces in all sectors, so as to be able to increase national and international cooperation to achieve the sustainable development goals related to water and energy.

The symposium will continue in the afternoon with more sessions and will end in the evening with the general conclusions, which will aim to constitute the First Global Report on the status and trends of effective solutions in the use of water and energy as vital resources in the design of a sustainable future. For tomorrow, the last day of the international conference, foreign visitors plan to take a technical tour of the Itaipu Hydroelectric Power Plant and other points of interest.

In 2018, ITAIPU and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) founded the Global Network on Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions to mobilize and scale up multi-stakeholder action towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6 and 7. This first Global Symposium on Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions is the result of the continuous cooperation between both entities.