Middle East faces security threats from global warming
2007-12-03
MEDIA RELEASE

Middle East faces security threats from global warming

December 3, 2007

A report released today by Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) for the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia illustrates that the security risk of climate change to the Middle East is very real.

With the Middle East being the world's most water-stressed region, climate change, which is projected to cause sea level rise that will flood Egypt's 2nd largest city, Alexandria, and displace millions of people, will contribute to even greater water stress in the region.

"The expected rise in sea level will make dysfunctional the coastal groundwater for 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza" says Nader Khateeb, Palestinian director of Friends of the Earth Middle East.

Ladeene Freimuth, Deputy Director of FoEME in Tel Aviv, says "with renewed U.S. leadership in the Middle East peace process successfully witnessed at the Annapolis meetings in November 2007, U.S. leadership is also essential at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, if we are to avoid the most severe implications that the climate crisis presents to the Middle East."

Today, December 3, through December 14, 2007, over 180 nations are gathering in Bali, Indonesia for the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference. This year, countries are expected to discuss commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the post-2012 period (the Kyoto Protocol, the implementing instrument of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change covers the period 2008-2012).

Munqeth Mehyar, Director of FoEME's Amman office and FoEME chair stated "it will be essential for the most developed countries to provide developing countries with technical and financial assistance in adapting to climate change. Bali presents a major opportunity to enhance these efforts, and countries of the region will have to manage water resources and cooperate over transboundary water resources to a much greater extent in the future, as a result of climate change."

For the full report, see www.foeme.org

For additional information, please contact Mira Edelstein at mira@foeme.org, 03-5605383, ext. 3 or Ladeene Freimuth at ladeene@freimuthgroup.com , +1-202-550-2306.