Arabs are more than just oil

8 June 2013

Lama Ghaddar

The global campaign against climate change needs all the resources it can obtain, and the Arab world should not be an exception. The Arab world will not be safe from the impacts of climate change; in fact it will be one of the most affected regions. Arabs have to wake up and contribute to developing and implementing climate change solutions.

Always weak positions” this is what I can say when I read the history of the Arab region and its role in the climate change negotiations. This region should raise its voice louder and should be more effective in its positions and in the implementation of solutions. This region urgently needs leaders in climate change. And when I say leaders, I mean politicians, NGOs, Arab governments and opinion leaders… Politicians and Arab people are either not aware of the impacts of climate change or they are being delusional that combating climate change will affect their economic situations and will cause major damage to their countries.

This region needs progressive and strong political leadership that can activate public support, decision makers and financial resources for climate change solutions. Due to the lack of forward-thinking political leadership, the social challenges coupled with the absence of information and financial greed this region’s work on climate change has been crippled.

Arabs should seek to change the belief of the rest of the world that our nations are just oil countries and must convince them that “Arabs are more than just oil.” We can also contribute to enhancing sustainable development in a highly active region while rising economic and social capital.

Arab governments, NGOs, the private sector and academia need to take action soon before it is too late.

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