The Economic and Political Aftermath of the Arab Spring

The Economic and Political Aftermath of the Arab Spring

Perspectives from Middle East and North African Countries

Edited by Carlo Altomonte and Massimiliano Ferrara

The economies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have always been characterized by economic volatility and social disparities. The recent ‘Arab Spring’ wave of protests has increased political uncertainty and instability in the region, and this timely book provides an in-depth analysis of the subsequent changes from economic, political and environmental perspectives. The international contributors provide a comprehensive overview of the situation in the Mediterranean Basin, addressing a wide range of contributing factors including: • productivity and innovation • trade and foreign investment • changing geo-political equilibria • labour markets and the role of women • the environment, climate change and energy sourcing.

Chapter 5: Climate change challenges and policies for the MENA countries

Ali H. Bayar and Hoda Youssef

Subjects: development studies, development economics, development studies, economics and finance, development economics, political economy, politics and public policy, international politics, islamic studies, political economy


The potential impact of global climate change poses serious challenges for the MENA region, its economies, societies and its people. Hotter and drier conditions would extend the area prone to desertification. The impacts of climate change will be also felt in the region's water resource system, especially with regard to reductions in water availability. Consequently, food security would also be threatened by falls in production and world price rises. The consequences on human health are hence obvious: reductions in food security can increase the risks of malnutrition and hunger, and the combination of heat and pollution would lead to an upsurge in illness, especially among urban populations. Finally, the region's economies would be adversely affected not only by the direct impacts of climate change, but also through the cost of adaptive measures. Table 5.1 provides, for some of the Mediterranean countries, an order of magnitude of the cost of environmental degradation as a percentage of GDP induced by the health impacts of urban air pollution and waterborne illnesses, the economic cost of water resources and soil/land degradation, impacts related to waste management, and the cost of coastal zone degradation. A common trend in the Mediterranean countries shown in Table 5.1 is that the most significant impact and losses are induced by health impacts of severe air pollution associated with lack of safe water and sanitation. Productivity losses associated with soil degradation amount to a significant percentage of GDP in countries where agricultural share of GDP is substantial.

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