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» June 2, 2009

Climate change poses threat to peace and security in Middle East

WINNIPEG—June 2, 2009— A new report developed by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), commissioned by The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and launched this week in the Middle East, has found that climate change may hold serious implications for peace and security in the Levant.

Climate models are predicting a hotter, drier and less predictable climate in the Middle East—a region already considered the world's most water scarce and where, in many places, demand for water already outstrips supply. For Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, climate change threatens to reduce the availability of scarce water resources, increase food insecurity, hinder economic growth and lead to large scale population movements. This could hold serious implications for peace in the region, according to the report.

Rising Temperatures, Rising Tensions: Climate change and the risk of violent conflict in the Middle East (PDF - 4.4 mb) is the latest report on the links between climate change, peace and conflict by IISD, an independent Canadian policy think tank. Drawn from extensive consultations and workshops throughout the region, augmented by desk research, the report makes three key points:

Note to Editors:

For more information on preparations for the Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009, see

More of IISD's work on environmental change and security can be found at here.

For more information please contact the authors:

Oli Brown ( or Alec Crawford (

For additional information or assistance please contact: