The Arab World and Climate Change

The Arab World and Climate Change

Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt, November 12

Climate change is an issue that affects all of us. But those most affected are the poorest populations in the world. Today, I’d like to discuss the way in which this crisis has been handled in the Arab world – it first treated the crisis like a joke but in recent years has finally started paying serious attention to the topic. Egypt is leading these efforts. Most notably, Egypt recently hosted the COP27 Climate Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, bringing together representatives, delegations, and world leaders from dozens of countries around the world to discuss the issue. The next summit, COP28, is scheduled to be hosted by the United Arab Emirates next year. Both gatherings are bringing the issue of climate change closer to home and are helping raise awareness of the problem of climate change as it pertains to the Middle East. The Arab public must understand that the climate issue is closely related to the conditions in which we live; conditions that are getting harsher and harsher each year. The climate issue is not an elitist issue, as was previously claimed, because the repercussions of climate change and the rise of temperatures on the planet affect all the inhabitants of Earth without exception. These repercussions, such as drought, floods, sea level rise, and severe heat waves, will not affect one class of people while skipping over another. Global warming directly leads to environmental degradation, natural disasters, food and water insecurity, economic disruption, conflicts, and even terrorism. The UN has warned of these repercussions that may affect the world at large, and the Middle East in particular. Indeed, some would claim that we’re on the brink of the abyss. –Abdul Latif Al-Manawi (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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