Africa produces only 4% of the planet greenhouse gases, but it looks more like the main victim of the effects of global warming.  Six out of the ten  most vulnerable countries to this phenomenon are located on the African continent.

Melting of the glaciers of Kilimanjaro glaciers and disappearance of coral in the oceans are few manifestations presumably resulting from climate change.

 Among all the many forms that it can take, it is food insecurity that focuses the concern of researchers.  African agriculture depends on 95% of rainfall precipitation: drought in the South while in the West, it is the floods which threaten with the development of tropical diseases.  Certain stretches of land became unfit for culture as in the Nile Delta because of the rise of the sea level.  A phenomenon that also risks to expose mega-cities populations of the coast of Africa. 

For the Maghreb, water resources are vulnerable to climatic variations.  Any climate change could put the North African countries in uncomfortable situations because of the volume of mobilisable water deficit by 2020.

This will result in a push of the arid and desert areas particularly towards the Mediterranean Sea that is accompanied as predicted by studies with a decrease in crop yields in the whole of the Maghreb because of the acceleration of the degradation of the soil and the loss of productive land.

The website Your Middle East published an article on the COP 21 conference as seen from the MENA region.


A brief guide to Climate Change, COP21 and the Middle East

Banner Icon Environment “When it comes to climate change the Middle East is part of the problem and will definitely be affected by it,” Dr. Lina Eklund writes ahead of the Paris climate summit.

On November 30 the 21st Conference of Parties, or the “2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference”, will begin in Paris. The purpose of this conference is to develop a binding agreement on climate change that involves all nations in the world. More specifically the goal is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to a level that will keep the world’s mean temperature below a 2°C increase compared to the pre-industrial period.

The commitments of the MENA countries

161 countries have so far declared that they will contribute in the struggle against climate change by submitting so called “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDC) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). A majority of the MENA countries have submitted their INDCs, with varying levels of commitment. The strongest reduction offer comes from Israel, which has pledged to reduce its emissions to 26% below 2005 levels by 2030. Lebanon offers an unconditional reduction of 15% compared to business as usual, but states that it could increase it to 30% with adequate international support. Turkey offers to reduce GHG emissions by up to 21% by 2030, but presents no lower target. Iran states that they will reduce its emissions by 4%, and have a conditional reduction of 8%.

The Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain set no specific emission reduction targets, but instead promise to develop their renewable energy sectors and diversify their economies. Saudi Arabia states that their commitment to the global reduction of GHGs is dependent on its continued oil exports and that the socio-economic consequences of international climate policies will not threaten to disproportionally burden the country’s economy. Saudi Arabia has previously been reported to block efforts to move towards stricter warming goals and has repeatedly emphasized oil and gas as part of the solution to climate change.

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