The Middle East and North Africa will be especially hard hit by climate change in the coming decades, the World Bank said in a report Wednesday, saying the region will see less rainfall, more recording-breaking temperatures and rising sea levels.
Should temperatures rise as expected, the hotter conditions are likely to hit the region's $50 billion tourism industry and further worsen its food security since many countries in the region, especially Gulf states, depend heavily on imports to feed their populations. Crop failures will also increase while yields will decrease and household incomes will fall, the report said.
The report was presented at the United Nations climate negotiations in Doha, Qatar, where nearly 200 delegates for the first time are in the Middle East to discuss cutting emissions in an attempt to ensure that global temperatures don't rise more than 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) over what they were in preindustrial times.
Temperatures have already risen about 0.8 degrees C (1.4 degrees F), according to the latest report by the IPCC.
"Climate change is a reality for people in Arab countries," Inger Andersen, World Bank Vice-President for the Middle East and North Africa region, said in a statement.
"It affects everyone, especially the poor who are least able to adapt, and as the climate becomes ever more extreme, so will its impacts on people's livelihoods and wellbeing. The time to take actions at both the national and regional level in order to increase climate resilience is now," Andersen said.
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