by Hana Namrouqa | May 14, 2013

AMMAN — Climate change scenarios indicate that Jordan and the Middle East could suffer from reduced agricultural productivity and water availability among other negative impacts, according to an official report issued on Tuesday.

Prepared by the Ministry of Environment in cooperation with the National Energy Research Centre and the UN Development Programme, the 2013-2020 Jordan Climate Change Policy predicted that climate change will have serious implications on the country’s efforts to eradicate poverty and realise sustainable development for current and future generations.

“Jordan faces serious potential impacts on its natural ecosystems, on its river basins, watersheds and its biodiversity; then cascading to impacts on food productivity, water resources, human health, public infrastructure, and human settlements,” the national policy predicted.

The report indicated that climate change projections suggest a 1-4°C increase in temperatures and a 15-60 per cent decrease in precipitation.

“Studies in Jordan indicate that extreme [weather] events, such as flash floods, intense rain, snow storms and droughts, are predicted to be more frequent,” according to the report.

The climate change policy evaluated the current conditions of several sectors that will be affected by climate change and suggested practices and adaptation measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The sectors included energy, transportation, solid waste and wastewater, land use and forestry, agriculture, water, biodiversity, health, coastal areas and tourism.

“Jordan is the first country in the Arab region to prepare a national policy that addresses climate change and its impact on vital sectors and development,” the Ministry of Environment’s secretary general, Ahmad Qatarneh, said at a ceremony to launch the policy.

Although Jordan contributes a marginal emission rate of 0.01 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions, it is committed to its responsibility in addressing climate change challenges while adhering to its national priorities and development objectives, the government official highlighted.