Climate Change

Climate change: Entry point for regional peace in the Middle East
02 Sep 2021 16:00 - 17:00
Bron: Jordan River devastation, EcoPeace Middle East

This dialogue is co-organised with the Planetary Security Initiative and EcoPeace Middle East.

Climate change impact on the wider Middle East 

Climate change is hitting the Middle East region hard with unbearable temperatures, water scarcity, desertification and saltwater intrusion undermining local food production. After the recent eruption of violence the need to address underlying stresses of grievances of people living in the region is mentioned as a factor that deserves extra attention. Whereas conflicts over identity and history are hard to overcome, it may still be possible to enter into renewed dialogues over how to build resilience against climate change and use renewables to enhance the level of energy security that could be used for air conditioning and water desalination. In a region prone to tensions, climate change is a common enemy that people in the region are facing.

By using practical examples, this online event will consider how a focus on climate adaptation and mitigation could be used as an entry point for bringing together people that otherwise might hardly talk to each other. What can they gain from entering into a dialogue over better management and distribution of scarce natural resources, and may this also foster a more general spirit of mutual understanding?

The dialogue will look into approaches to combat desertification, dialogues over the Jordan river which is at risk of drying up and cooperation to provide more renewable energy. It will link to donors increasingly active on the climate-security nexus, such as the EU. What could we gain by scaling up climate-security practices in the Middle East?

Programme & speakers

Panel: Options for environmental peacebuilding in the wider Middle East

  • Yana Abu Taleb, Director of EcoPeace Middle East – Jordan, on the EcoPeace approach to environmental peacebuilding
  • Rene Van Nes, Head of Division of Conflict Prevention and Mediation Support at European External Action Service
  • Prof. Alon Tal, Member of the Knesset
  • Dr. Shaddad Attili, Advisor ranking Minister at the Negotiations Support Department - PLO / Former Water Minister

Followed by discussion and Q&A

The dialogue will be moderated by Louise van Schaik, Head of EU & Global Affairs Unit at the Clingendael Institute. Q&A session will be led by Tobias von Lossow, Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute and PSI project leader.