Policy Analysis

Give Peace (and the climate) a Chance

By Alec Crawford, Oli Brown on November 6, 2009

Jordan River basin countries are desperately short of water. Israel, Jordan and Palestine have less than a quarter as much water as the common definition of a water-scarce country. Regional climate models predict that unless drastic action is taken to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, rising temperatures will reduce agricultural productivity and make water even harder to come by in this already-dry region. At the same time, population growth is increasing demand for water, food and jobs at a tremendous rate. A decrease in the availability of water needed to feed the Middle East's growing population could raise the stakes for the return or the retention of occupied land. The threat to political stability in the Middle East underlines why the climate talks in Copenhagen in December must conclude with a deal on climate change.