The Eastern Mediterranean region has suffered successive inter-related crises, and could do without a "threat multiplier". Unfortunately, this region has also been identified as a climate change hot spot, where the effects of rising green house gas emissions will be experienced much faster than the global mean rate. Temperatures are expected to escalate, impacting human welfare and food production. Fresh water scarcity is expected to intensify, with at least 10-20 percent further drying expected by mid-century.
This project seeks to fill a perceived gap in political analysis of the climate-security nexus in the Eastern Mediterranean. Drawing on seventy interviews with regional experts and officials, the author explains how the effects of climate change could interact with the region's complex political and social structures. A further deterioration in regional security may occur unless prompt, effective steps are taken to address climate-related risks.
The cultural and geographical concept of the Mediterranean offers opportunities for cutting through the political divisions of the modern Middle East. This paper concludes with policy proposals to increase the visibility of climate risks, and to integrate climate-related initiatives via a "variable geometry" of inter-state and sub-state action. These proposals might help to build momentum around climate action – especially if the unifying potential of the Mediterranean space is fully exploited.