Skip to main content


Water sector launches first ever Water Pavilion at COP26

Water UK is proud to be a partner to the first ever Water Pavilion at COP26, bringing together the global water community to speak with one voice on the powerful water-related solutions that are at the heart of effective climate action.

The Water Pavilion is the result of an unprecedented collaboration among over 30 organisations, governments and companies with an interest in water. The Water Pavilion aims to deliver cutting edge, science-based advice to climate decision makers. Countries can also learn more about the central role that water plays in the climate crisis and the need for water to be at the centre of climate solutions for mitigation and adaptation.

Water UK is delighted to be co-convening the official opening of the Pavilion and to be hosting two events at COP26, providing attendees with an important opportunity to learn more about the sector’s net zero ambition as an exemplar of cross-sector leadership.

These are:

Monday 1 November, 08:30 – 9:40am: Official opening followed by The Race to Zero and Resilience, unleashing water’s power (Water Pavilion, Blue Zone). Hosted by Water UK CEO Christine McGourty with contributions from Anglian Water, Barwon Water (Australia), and Miami Dade Water and Sewer Department (US). Tune into this event live at

Tuesday 2 November, 1:30 – 2:30pm: Unlocking the Nature/Net Zero balance (Tower Base South, Green Zone). Hosted by Christine McGourty with a keynote from Natural England’s Chair, Tony Juniper, and contributions from Scottish Water, RSPB, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Woodland Trust, and E3G. Tune into this event live at

Water UK and Northumbrian Water will also be taking part in the Marrakech Partnership Water Action Event on 5th November, sharing the UK’s ambitious plans to deliver net zero on operational emissions 2030.

Samuel Larsen, Director of Programmes and Planning said: “We all know this is a critical decade for the environment and that we all must take action to minimise our impact on climate change. The water industry has an important role to play so we’re thrilled to be a partner at the first Water Pavilion at COP26 and to have the chance to discuss solutions that can bring about positive change.

"Our 2030 Net Zero Routemap is inspiring others around the world to commit to taking urgent action. We must use the platform of COP26 to join forces on reducing carbon emissions and creating long-term plans for sustainability. Investing early in sustainable water solutions would be cost-effective for both the sector and the consumer, and we don’t have time to waste. We look forward to sharing key insights with climate leaders from around the world and working together towards our shared goal.”

Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), said:

“The climate crisis is primarily a water crisis. To a large extent, we experience global warming in the form of too much or too little water, as floods or droughts. But few countries are aware of how much they can gain from focusing more on water in their climate action, and that is what we want to change with the first-ever Water Pavilion.”

Nigel Topping, the UK Government’s High Level Champion for Climate Action at COP 26 said: “The Water Pavilion is an innovative and radically inclusive space for bringing governments and non-state actors together, and as a hybrid pavilion, it makes this climate conference accessible to the global audience. I applaud this initiative’s contribution to raising the inclusion ambition of this COP.”

Cate Lamb, Global Director for Water Security at CDP and UNFCCC COP26 High Level Climate Action Champions Lead for Water said: “The global water crisis will only worsen as climate change continues. It is possible, and absolutely essential, for us to turn this situation around, but only with international support and collaboration at all levels.

“The Water Pavilion is a unique opportunity for governments, businesses and investors to convene and drive forward the urgent action we need to stop the depletion of freshwater resources and transition to a healthy, resilient, net zero future. There is an abundance of economic, social, and ecological benefits to be generated from this transition, but only if we act now.”  

The Water Pavilion will be physically present in the Blue Zone of the COP 26 venue in Glasgow as a convening space for government representatives, observer organisations and the media attending the COP. At the same time, all events in the Pavilion will be live streamed, allowing people all over the world to virtually engage with the broadcast events. This hybrid approach means that event organisers, speakers, and participants who are not present at the COP are included, making the programme more diverse than ever.

Follow events taking place at the Water Pavilion online at:


For more information about Water UK involvement at COP26 including event details, interview requests, industry case studies or supporting content please contact:

Del Bowen, Senior Media Officer, Water UK – or 07557 018446

Isabella Wilson, Senior Media Officer, Water UK – or 07342882946

Water Pavilion Partners

Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA); Arup; CDP; CCAFS; CGIAR; Diageo; The Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom (FCDO); German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); Global Center on Adaptation (GCA); Global Water Partnership (GWP); International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); International Water Management Institute (IWMI); International Water Resources Association (IWRA); Government of the Netherlands; Ooska News; Pacific Institute - CEO Water Mandate; Sanitation and Water for All (SWA); Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI);  Scottish Government; The Republic of Tajikistan; The Nature Conservancy; The Resilience Shift; UN-Habitat; United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR);United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE); UNESCO Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP); UNICEF; Water UK;; WaterAid; Wetlands International; World Bank Group - Global Water Security  & Sanitation Partnership (GWSP); World Meteorological Organization (WMO); World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Notes to Editors

The idea of the Water Pavilion at COP 26 was born after COP 25, when the climate debate was starting to shift direction and increasingly focus on water, landscapes and systems in addition to technical solutions. To seize this opportunity, SIWI has been collaborating closely with the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), CDP, Global Water Partnership (GWP), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to ensure that water has a clear voice at COP 26.

Water UK is a trade body that represents all of the UK’s water companies. We work work with governments, regulators and stakeholders to develop policy on water and the sustainable delivery of water services in the UK and help water companies provide a public service to customers that is essential for health, for maintaining a modern standard of living and for supporting local economies.