Climate Change in the Middle East: Impacts and Governance Responses

25 February 2021. From 18:30 | Webinar | English | Online
slideshow image A woman waits for transport in Ouled Said, on the outskirts of the oasis town of Timimoun. March 24, 2008. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra (ALGERIA)

Middle Eastern states have made modest commitments to climate change mitigation and adaptation, with most progress in the scaling up of clean energy investments. There is scope for more effective regional cooperation on climate change through the League of Arab States and the Gulf Cooperation Council. While some commentators have directly attributed conflict effects to climate change in the Middle East (e.g., the drought-migration-Syrian war thesis), recent scholarship on the impacts of climate change in the region rejects claims treating climate change impacts as major catalysts or intensifiers of conflict. Climate change is, at least, a source of pressure on water and food availability, a problematic interfered by other factors like demographic change, economic development constraints and resource governance failings.

Michael Mason, the director of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics and an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Environment, presents the challenges, opportunities, and debates of climate change effects in the Middle East. The lecture is introduced by Jordi Quero, professor and coordinator of the master that co-organises the session, the Master’s in Diplomacy and International Organizations (CEI/UB).



Jordi Quero

Professor Universitat de Barcelona

Michael Mason

Director Middle East Center