Najam Keynotes at 4th International Water Conference

Adil Najam, Dean of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, delivered the keynote address at the 4th International Water Conference held in Karachi, Pakistan on November 27, 2019.

The conference was opened by President of Pakistan Arif Alvi and the chief guest at the closing ceremony was the Governor of the Province of Sindh, Imran Ismail. The 4th biennial International Water Conference brought together international experts on water to discuss the key challenges of water management and water security.

Najam highlighted that for many countries, including Pakistan, water is already a defining challenge for the future, but that it has become an even more pressing challenge with the advent of climate change. He introduced the concept of “Age of Adaptation” that has been the focus of his recent work, and argued that we are already living in a world of climate impacts, one where meeting the 1.5 degrees centigrade climate change target is no longer possible or conceivable.

For more than 2.5 billion people in the world climate impacts and adaptation is a reality today, and no longer a future issue, according to Najam. He said that in such a world, the most important impacts of climate change are related to water.

“Water is to climate adaptation, what carbon was to climate mitigation,” Najam said. “In presenting this proposition, he then went on to elaborate the various ways in which water becomes a frontline issue for climate adaptation, across the world, but especially in developing countries like Pakistan.”