Caitlin E. Werrell, Francesco Femia, Anne-Marie Slaughter

Center for American Progress

Published date February 28, 2013

The Arab Spring and Climate Change

This volume of essays includes the following contributions:

  • Troy Sternberg of Oxford University begin by investigating the connections between climate events in other parts of the world and social unrest in the Arab world—including, drought conditions in China, subsequent global wheat shortages, and how those shortages may have influenced the Egyptian uprisings
  • Sarah Johnstone and Jeffrey Mazo of the International Institute for Strategic Studies investigate the vulnerability of the Middle East and North Africa region to fluctuations of food supply and prices both globally and locally, and how current and projected climatic changes interact with those phenomena
  • Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell of the Center for Climate and Security address the influence of climate change before social and political unrest developed into large-scale conflict in Syria—a country many analysts initially deemed impervious to the Arab Spring, also known as the Arab Awakening—the projected influence of climate change after the Arab Awakening in Libya, and possible water-security solutions for building climate resilience that may simultaneously enhance cooperation and aid in resolving conflict
  • Michael Werz and Max Hoffman of the Center for American Progress investigate how “security in one place is irrevocably linked to stability in distant regions"
  • David Michel and Mona Yacoubian of the Stimson Center explore how the Arab world could transform the risks posed by climate-change factors into sustainable economic growth and job-creating opportunities