chapter  8
13 Pages

Conclusion: climate change spanning from weather to water governance

As was stated in the introductory chapter, the aim of this volume is to increase the understanding of climate change impacts as it has been perceived, understood, and acted upon in a number of transboundary river basins globally. A particular (but not exclusive) focus was on the responses of the transboundary water management (TWM) institutions in the face of the climate change debate. Below, we will fi rst revisit the Global Climate Change (GCC) debate, before we turn to the fi ndings of our cases, from which we reinsert our fi ndings into the debate on the nexus of TWM and GCC. The chapter, and the volume, is concluded offering a brief refl ection on urgent research to be pursued in this fi eld.

At the outset of this volume we remarked on the way weather-related climatic events have entered the public discourse, through extensive media coverage of disaster events as well as individuals ascribing extremes of weather to climate change. This process has continued, with climate now moving beyond being a phenomenon expressed through weather patterns through to a, contested, political reality. Indeed in February 2014, southern parts of Britain were threatened by unusually high fl oodwaters, the result of heavy rains and built-up fl oodplains. Politicians rushed to the scene of the fl ooding and sought to underline how, if their predictions had been listened to, the current situation could have been averted. The Economist magazine carried the headline ‘Knee-deep in fl oodwater, Britain’s politicians rekindle an argument about global warming’ (Bagehot’s notebook 2014), in an article chronicling the way the climate change debate has found its way into mainstream politics. As the saying goes, ‘all politics is local’, hence it is not surprising to fi nd that the entry point for the global climate change debate into the popular political sphere is the very direct impact a weather-related event has on local communities. These impacts require that politicians act, to protect communities as well as to safeguard their own positions and popularity.