Private sector leads in financing to combat water scarcity

Mexico City, Nov 16 (EFE).- The private sector, including Mexican companies, are leading the creation of innovative financial models to guarantee investments to tackle water scarcity, according to sector representatives at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27).

Lorena Guille-Laris, director of Mexico’s FEMSA Foundation, highlighted the challenge that water represents for Latin America, with more than one third of the region’s population lacking access to drinking water and more than two thirds living in areas where systems are inadequately managed.

According to estimates from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), if investment in conventional solutions continues, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be achieved until 2075, which “is unacceptable.”

Guille-Laris explained that the FEMSA Foundation prioritizes three key elements in its water strategy, with the co-design and piloting of potentially scalable financial models; driving business models that are sustainable and have a relevant positive environmental and social impact; and promoting behavioral and cultural change.

In recent years, water has gained prominence in global conversations on the climate crisis due to reports that have revealed the impact of global warming in the form of floods and droughts around the world, including Mexico.

In this regard, the Green Climate Fund, Deutsche Bank and organizations such as the FEMSA Foundation, Starbucks, Xylem and Danone presented their contributions in the creation of innovative financial projects to unleash the transformation of the water sector.

Water Mandate CEO Jason Morrison argued that it has become clear that public sector financing and philanthropic investments alone will not be enough to solve water challenges.

Speaking at The Resilience Hub, Morrison emphasized that there is an opportunity to innovate in co-financing schemes to make a difference.

Xylem’s David Flinton considered it important to create models to finance higher-risk initiatives that promote an innovation ecosystem, and highlighting its contribution to innovators in water technology with funds for pilot projects and commercial testing.

Danone detailed the “Water Action Accelerator” program, an impact fund aimed at providing drinking water solutions.

In addition, the “Water Equity” project showed how it brings in market capital and investors to empower people to solve their water access problems by providing credit.

And the “Swift” project that contributes to the protection of watersheds through conservation practices with nature-based solutions.

In addition, participants agreed on the responsibility of building a future with water, it is a shared responsibility and everyone has the possibility to contribute to the solution.

“Only through disruptive models and working on collective action will we be able to address present and future water challenges,” insisted Guille-Laris. EFE


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