Posted on August 20, 2019

The Al-Attiyah Foundation in its latest issue of Sustainability Digest has tried to evaluate the risks of climate change for the region and the world at large.

The issue especially focuses on the sea-level rise due to climate change, which could have serious repercussions for many countries. Many coastal cities in the region would be flooded if sea levels rise, the report says. The foundation analyses the current situation wherein on the one hand the World Economic Forum (WEF) suggests that the world is sleep walking into a catastrophe, and on the other, a sizeable section believes that innovation, collaboration and swift action now could reverse the trend. 

In January this year, the WEF released its Global Risks Report 2019 on the major threats to the world economy. For the third year in a row, the report states that environmental-related risks account for three of the top five global risks by likelihood, and four of the top five risks by economic impact, namely: failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation; extreme weather events; water crises and natural disasters. Finally, the report bleakly concludes that of all the risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly not doing enough.

The literature on climate change risks in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region has focused mainly on the issues of temperature increase and water scarcity, as both phenomena have been directly affecting the populations. In the digest, the Al-Attiyah Foundation also explores the implications and challenges of the climatic impacts already evident in many regions of the world, with many nations focusing on adaptation. Adaptation is the process in which nations adjust to the current effects of climate change while preparing for future challenges. It refers to the practical actions, strategies and processes that seek to lower the risks posed by these changes, as well as make the most beneficial opportunities, such as longer planting seasons or increased crop production in certain areas. 

Climate change mitigation denotes actions that limit the magnitude and/or rate of long-term climate change and generally involves a reduction in human (anthropogenic) emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The ever-growing threat of climate change requires strategic intervention on both fronts – adaptation and mitigation. 

An abundance of evidence demonstrates that there is a need to urgently assess vulnerabilities and identify adaptation options. Early planning can help to reduce further, the adverse impacts of climate change. Governments, society and individuals must work together to create a sustainable future which will inevitably require changes in behaviour, innovative technologies and practices. The full Sustainability Digest can be downloaded from the Al-Attiyah Foundation website www.abhafoundation.org/sustainability_html

source: Qatar Tribune

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