Climate change has become a global concern in recent decades and Jordan is no exception. According to IPPC, scientific evidences show that the earth experienced an average warming of around 0.7°C during the 20th century, and are projected to warm by up to 4°C by the end of the 21st century. Scientific studies reveal an increase in annual minimum air temperatures in Jordan since 1970s. The increase of mean temperature indicates a slight regional climate change, while decreasing temperature range proves that the earth is trapping terrestrial infrared radiation responsible for climate change. Besides, researchers predict further increase in the mean annual temperatures by 3±0.5°C in winter and 4.5±1°C in summer by the end of the 21st century. According to the National Climate Change Policy of Jordan, Jordan’s total GHG emissions are relatively small with less than 20 million tons of CO2 eq p.a. to global emission. The main sources of GHG emissions in Jordan are as follows:
- Energy sector – 74%
- Waste sector – 13%
- Solid waste – 12.5%
- Industrial processes – 8%
- Land use – 4%
- Wastewater – 1%
Climate Change Perception and Awareness
In Feb 2014, the Jordanian Ministry of Environment collaborating with the Royal Scientific Society and the UNDP published the results of the first public opinion survey about the level of knowledge on climate change and its impact on Jordan. The survey aims to evaluate the level of perception and understanding of the Jordanians about climate change and to determine the knowledge gaps to prepare an outreach plan for enhancing public awareness.
When the level of climate change awareness and perception among Jordanians was assessed, findings show that the level of climate change awareness among Jordanians is high; survey results specify that 78% of Jordanians recognize the change in climate during the past years, while 73% realize that climate change was due to anthropogenic activities such as energy sector and transportation. Moreover, only 38% of all sample stated that they have a very good knowledge of the climate change issue. In the same survey, 75% stated that the impact of climate change nationally will be mainly manifested in the form of temperature rise, while 65% acknowledged that climate change will negatively affect the precipitation.
In addition, the results show a good knowledge among Jordanians as regards the fact that Jordan has a minor contribution to climate change phenomena. Half of the sample surveyed showed a positive attitude towards being involved in action against climate change, and 53% expressed their willing to pay more for climate-friendly products, while joining an organization that addresses climate change issues had a weak percentage of 16%.
Results further demonstrate that the sample under study gave the top priority to students in the awareness campaigns with a percentage of 72% followed by business sector with 61% and household with 43%. As for communication tools, the sample chose TV and Satellite as the most preferred communication tool, followed by social media networking (e.g Facebook and Twitter) with a percentage of 66%, while the least percentage was for seminars and workshops with a percentage of 26%.
Government has the key responsibilities in dealing with climate change according to 52% of the sample, followed by civil society organizations with 24%. As for adaptation measures, 69% of Jordanians identified saving water as a key issue in adaptation options, whereas planting of drought-tolerant crops ranked the second place with 60%, and the last priority was for biodiversity conservation with 50%. Finally, 61% of the studied sample recommended renewable energy usage and energy efficiency as the first mitigation options, while 46% went to use climatic-friendly products, and decrease the industrial pollution ranked the third place with a percentage of 57%.
Climate Change Policy and Government Decisions
While Jordan`s total GHG emissions are relatively small and despite the current political instability in the region, Jordan did not ignore the emergency of dealing with the climate change problem. This is due to the fact that Jordan realizes that climate change is a threat to both nature and humanity, and it is an obligation to deal with its negative impacts by increasing the Kingdom’s preparedness and resilience.
Jordan should act intelligently to compact the negative impact of climate change vulnerable sectors such as water and food to name two. Correspondingly the Ministry of Environment declared launching a directorate specializes in Climate Change, Jordan has also developed "the Climate Change Policy and Sector Strategic Guidance Framework", according to the policy; the long-term goal is to achieve a proactive, climate risk-resilient Jordan, to remain with a low-carbon but growing economy, with healthy, sustainable, resilient communities, sustainable resources, and thriving and productive ecosystems.
Adaptation and Mitigation Measures
In addition to actions taken at the policy level, various actions have been taken to adapt to climate change and to promote mitigation of GHGs, including strengthening the promotion of renewable energy in the country. An excellent example is the 117MW Tafila Wind Farm, the Middle East’s biggest wind farm.
In addition to local activities on mitigation and adaptation, Jordan also participates in and contributes to various environmental international activities related to climate change. Moreover, a good deal of research projects on climate change have been initiated in Jordan, which will help in identifying the local impacts of climate change and to broaden knowledge on adaptation and mitigation strategies in different sectors. Jordan believes that the potential for mitigation is large; and is still working seriously and comprehensively to deal with its consequences.
Matouq, Mohammed. et al "The Climate Change Implication on Jordan: A Case Study Using GIS and Artificial Neural Networks for Weather Forecasting." Journal of Taibah University for Science, 2013.
Hamdi, Moshrik. et al "Climate Change in Jordan: A Comprehensive Examination Approach." American Journal of Environmental Sciences 5.1 (2009): 58-68.
Harrison, Sandy. "Future Climate Change in Jordan: An Analysis of State-of-the-Art Climate Model Simulations." (2009): Royal Society for Nature Conservation.
The National Climate Change Policy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan 2013-2020." The Ministry of Environment. 2013. <available at http://www.jo.undp.org/content/dam/jordan/docs/Publications/Climate%20change%20policy_JO.pdf>.
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