BRIEF

Turn Down the Heat in the Arab World

April 10, 2015


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Climate change is already affecting the Arab World in dire ways. It will cause extreme heat to spread across more of the land for longer periods of time, making some regions unlivable and reducing growing areas for agriculture. Cities will feel an increasing heat island effect and most capital cities in the Middle East could face four months of exceedingly hot days every year. Rising temperatures will put intense pressure on crops and already scarce water resources, potentially increasing migration and the risk of conflict.

Ahead of the Paris COP 21, MENA governments are pressured to develop innovative green solutions, reduce their CO2 emissions, and sustainably protect their livelihoods and scarce natural resources especially water,  from the effects of climate change,.

The World Bank “Turn Down the Heat” reports warn that without concerted action, temperatures are on pace to rise to 4°C above pre-industrial times by the end of this century, and the MENA region will be hit harder with higher temperatures and more severe droughts.

Join us in fighting the impact of climate change in the Arab World!

This campaign aims to raise awareness on climate change and promote a long-term call for action in the Arab World.  Stay tuned for updated stories, blogs, postcards, infographics and data about how climate change affects the region and what actions are needed to address them.

The campaign will focus on the following themes:

Energy

Arab World countries have some of the highest wind and solar energy potentials in the world. Exploiting this wind and solar potential would strongly help Arab countries, enabling them to decrease the vulnerability of their existing energy systems Using wind and solar energy will also increase electricity production, which is important as demand in the majority of the countries is expected to increase steeply in coming decades due to demographic and economic development as well as to the increasing need for space cooling as temperatures rise.

Air pollution

Sources of air pollution in the Arab World vary from transportation systems, greenhouse gas emissions,  and other gases from industries. Coupled with a shortage of institutional capabilities to manage air pollution, air quality has become unbreathable in most MENA’s largest cities, with tremendous impact on people’s health. Unprecedented unplanned urbanization, industrialization and migration of traditionally rural peoples and resettlement of refugees strain city services and give rise to air pollution.

Natural resources

In most MENA countries, scarce fresh water is diverted, misused, and polluted with hazardous wastes, sewage, agricultural waste, and other chemicals. Arable land is being lost to desertification and unplanned urbanization. Coastal zones are mismanaged and polluted with oil, threatening fragile ecosystems and biodiversity.

As a result of global warming, especially changes in precipitation patterns, water availability will decrease in most parts of the MENA region throughout the 21st century, with decreases possibly exceeding 15% in a 2°C world and 45% in a 4°C world.

More info