Conflict may occur in Middle East due to climate change: Report
A report prepared by the European Union draws attention to the possibility of conflict due to water sharing between Turkey, Syria and Iraq in the Euphrates-Tigris basin as a result of global climate change.
Striking findings regarding the future period have been included in the research titled “Climate Change and Water Report for the Tigris and Euphrates Basin” prepared by the European Union Cascades project.
This study examines future impacts of climate change on water resources and the ensuing economic and political challenges in the Euphrates-Tigris basin shared by the countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.
“More severe water shortages and water quality problems aggravated by climate change will make it harder to sustain farming and livelihoods depending on ecosystems.,” the report said.
“A failure to mitigate climate-related water risks can contribute to poverty, food insecurity, and unemployment in rural farming communities, and eventually lead to displacement and internal migration at a larger scale than is seen today,” it added.
Noting that climate change would complicate and aggravate water-related challenges that are already significant in the region, especially in Iraq and Syria, the report said that the incurred economic losses would reduce the government’s resources for an adequate adaptation response.
“If the riparian states are unable to scale up cross-border action in managing water, in contrast, climate change will intensify water insecurity in the future,” the report said, noting that this development may fuel social turmoil in the region.
“Turkey’s adaptive capacity, however, is considerably greater than those of the other riparian states,” the report added.