Climate Change and the Mediterranean Region

Publication - 25 May, 2000

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Executive summary: Water shortages and poor harvests during the droughts of the early 1990s exposed the acute vulnerability of the Mediterranean region to climatic extremes. Against this backdrop, the prospect of a major climate change brought about by human activities is a source of growing concern, raising serious questions over the sustainability of the region. This report examines the potential implications of global climate change for the Mediterranean region. Drawing on the results of recent studies, it reviews possible changes in climate together with recent trends, the potential impacts of climate change and the implications for sustainable development.One key finding is that future climate change could critically undermine efforts for sustainable development in the Mediterranean region. In particular, climate change may add to existing problems of desertification, water scarcity and food production, while also introducing new threats to human health, ecosystems and national economies of countries.The most serious impacts are likely to be felt in North African and eastern Mediterranean countries.The report concludes that while there is some scope for adaptation, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the regionrequires urgent action to cut global emissions of greenhouse gases.

Num. pages: 34