Heat waves, droughts, flash floods – the MENA region is already disproportionately affected by the impact of climate change. With the expected rise in temperature, more and more regions will become uninhabitable. Inequality in the region is already striking, and climate change threatens to further exacerbate these existing inequalities. Climate change primarily affects the most vulnerable in society, leaving them with little to no chance on a livable future.
The only solution to consider, should be a social-ecological transformation addressing both climate change and existing social injustice. The social aspects of the coming transformation demand to play a central role, we simply cannot afford to keep looking the other way.
As an international organization targeting to strengthen democracy, social and economic participation and social and gender equality, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) commits to liaise social justice with policies on climate change and energy, be it on national, regional or international level. With our Jordan-based MENA Climate and Energy Project and the national offices in the region, we strengthen civil society organizations, bring them together with government representatives, support research and provide policy recommendations, in order to promote and achieve a socially just energy transition and climate justice in the MENA region.
The economic systems of MENA region countries, be it Morocco, Egypt or Iraq, are neither socially nor environmentally sustainable. By signing the Paris Agreement, the countries committed themselves to gradual decarbonization. Their potential for renewable energy, although still vastly untapped, is seemingly endless, and could easily be put into force, given the right investments and political will. FES supports the countries in developing strategies for the transformation of their economic systems and – together with trade unions and civil society organizations – promotes a just transition. This transition to renewable energies can, and should have positive socio-economic effects, which in particular would create new, honest and urgently needed jobs. FES offers a platform through which scientific results and recommendations are presented to governments and demonstrated to politics.
Our project “Climate for Justice” aims to promote the understanding that climate change at its heart is an issue of social justice. Our goal of climate neutrality and leaving a livable planet with a rich biodiversity to our children and grandchildren, can be achieved with bold action and everyone's active participation. Time was up yesterday, so we all have to act now!