I remember witnessing a surreal scene during an international Forum in Northern Europe, in 2011. A group of young Arab pro-democracy actors, heroes of the day, had been gathered for lunch break to meet with one of the Forum leaders. They were duly reminded of the importance of protecting the environment and asked to start promoting ASAP a “green agenda” for their countries. The Arab heroes, slightly taken by surprise, promised politely to do so.
How can you be so disconnected from the realities and preoccupations of the Arab peoples and be so right at the same time?
The latest World Bank report on Adaptation to a changing climate in the Arab countries reminds us that war and peace are not the only matters of life or death in our region.
Assuming that few people in the Arab world would read this fascinating 441 page report, we have decided to select a few striking data about national impact of climate change (CC) at the environmental, social, economic and political levels (table below). This post is but a humble attempt at raising awareness about Climate Change and environmental degradation in the Arab countries. At the end of the day, the real missing link for political accountability and a “green Arab agenda” are informed citizens demanding serious change.
Part 2 of this post will address concrete solutions and priority actions.