BERLIN, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Climate Change made the heavy rainfall that led to deadly floods in Libya up to 50 times more likely, scientists said on Tuesday.
The powerful Sept. 10 storm caused two dams to break, inundating Libya’s eastern city of Derna and killing thousands of people. Residential blocks built along a typically dry riverbank toppled, as the swollen river undermined foundations.
Building in flood plains, poor dam conditions, long-lasting armed conflict and other local factors played a role in the disaster.
But climate change caused up to 50% more rain during that period, according to scientists with World Weather Attribution, an international research collaboration that works to determine how much climate change plays a role in specific weather events.
The scientists warned that as climate change pushes weather to new extremes, it would remain risky to build homes on flood plains or to use substandard materials.
“The interaction of these factors, and the very heavy rain that was worsened by climate change, created the extreme destruction [in Libya]”, the scientists wrote in a statement.
They used climate and computer simulations to compare weather events today with what they might have been if the climate had not already warmed by 1.2 degrees Celsius above the average preindustrial temperature.
Rainfall can increase or become more erratic with climate change, as a warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapour – allowing more moisture to build up before clouds finally break.
The “extremely unusual” storm event delivered 50% more rain than it would have if there was no global warming, according to the scientists’ research. Such an event can be expected once every 300-600 years in the current climate, they said.
Meanwhile, climate change also caused up to a 40% increase in the amount of rain that fell in early September across the Mediterranean, causing floods that killed dozens in Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey.
“The Mediterranean is a hotspot of climate change-fueled hazards,” said Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, citing heatwaves and wildfires in the region over summer.
Reuters – Reporting by Riham Alkousaa Editing by Alexandra Hudson
Oman has solidified its position as the frontrunner in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region concerning potential solar farm capacity, as per the latest data from the Global Solar Power Tracker.
This report, focusing on solar farm projects of 20 MW capacity and above, indicates that Oman ranks first in the MENA region and eleventh worldwide, boasting an impressive anticipated capacity of 18,349 megawatts (MW), equating to 1.55% of the global total capacity.
Oman’s robust dedication to renewable energy and its aspiration to diversify its energy mix is evident in the data provided by the Global Solar Power Tracker.
Capitalizing on its extensive desert landscapes and abundant sunlight, Oman has harnessed its solar potential, positioning itself at the forefront of the MENA region’s solar revolution.
The potential capacity encompasses the cumulative sum of solar farm projects in various phases, including those under construction, in the pre-construction stage, and those already announced. This indicates a substantial growth trajectory for Oman’s solar industry in the forthcoming years.
Beyond highlighting Oman’s commitment to renewable energy, the report also underscores the country’s remarkable progress in executing solar farm projects. Presently, Oman has four operational solar farms, three in the construction phase, twelve in the pre-construction stage, and two announced projects. These advancements signify a burgeoning and swiftly evolving solar sector within the nation.
Oman’s flagship renewable energy endeavor is the 500 MW Ibri Solar Power Complex, one of the largest solar installations in the region. Located in Al Dhahirah Governorate, the project supplies energy to around 33,000 homes and effectively offsets millions of tons of carbon emissions annually.
Additionally, the ongoing implementation of two Independent Power Projects (IPPs) at Manah is set to contribute 1,000 MW of new solar capacity when operational in 2025.
In recent developments, Nama Power & Water Procurement Company (Nama PWP), responsible for power and water procurement in Oman, has outlined plans to secure a new large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Project (IPP) by 2029. Tentatively named ‘Solar PV IPPs 2029,’ the project is slated to have a combined capacity of 1000 MW, consisting of two IPPs each with 500 MW.
The report also provides a broader view of the global solar farm landscape, revealing an astonishing total potential capacity of 1,184,296 MW. This underscores the escalating worldwide focus on renewable energy as countries endeavor to curtail carbon emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
The top five nations on the list include China, the United States, Spain, Australia, and India. In the MENA region, Oman leads the list at the eleventh spot, followed by Egypt (12th with 17,094 WM), Morocco (15th with 13,538 MW), Saudi Arabia (17th with 9,051 MW), Iraq (18th with 8,385 MW), and Kuwait (19th with 7,970 MW).
Oman’s achievement of securing the eleventh global position is a significant milestone not only for the country but also for the broader MENA region. It showcases the region’s extensive potential for solar energy generation and its substantial contribution to global renewable energy targets.
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The “Cizre Dam” project to be built on the Tigris River in Cizre was approved. Many settlements will be flooded by the new dam.
20 Aug 2023
The Tigris River passes through the Cizre region of Şirnak and runs along the borders of the Federated Kurdistan Region before flowing into the Persian Gulf. A new dam will be built on the Tigris River, which is considered the longest river in the Middle East with a length of 2,800 kilometres. The project is called “Cizre Dam” and was put out to bid on 24 May 2013, but was suspended due to various disagreements.
In the decision taken by the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change on 29 April 2019, the “Environmental Impact Assessment prepared and finalized for the Cizre Dam and HEPP (Energy, Drinking Water, Irrigation) to be carried out by the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI) was found sufficient by the Investigation and Evaluation Commission and was accepted as final.”
The “Cizre Dam” will be the 10th dam on the Tigris River, and the second largest dam after the Ilısu Dam built on the river.
The project of the dam, which has been the subject of a harsh debate for years, was accepted on 16 August. However, it is not known when the construction of the dam will begin. As it happened with other dams, this new one will mean that many species living in the Tigris River will once again be in danger of extinction.
The Tigris River also provides water to the South Kurdistan Region and its government as well as the Iraqi government will face a major water crisis with the completion of the dam. It is claimed that the dam, which will be built with a height of 40 meters and a water storage volume of 381 million cubic meters, will be completed within three years.
AKP Şırnak MP Arslan Tatar announced on his social media account that the tender for the dam has come into effect and said: “The tender for the construction of the Cizre Dam and HEPP project, which was designed for Energy + Drinking Water + Irrigation purposes and is a key project within the scope of the South-eastern Anatolia Project (GAP), has been assigned. Construction work should begin as soon as possible and complete it within 3 years so to quickly start energy production.”
After the 14 May elections, the first act of the AKP in Sirnak was securing the tender for the dam project, despite the catastrophic effects it will have on the environment. According to the project, the dam is expected to be built below the town of Qesirk (Kasrik), which separates the Cudi and Gabar Mountains, and the village of Misûriyê. The project will also affect many roads, vineyards and settlements that, as it happened with the Ilisu dam, will be flooded.
Carbon credits grant organizations the right to emit a certain amount of CO2 annually, thus giving an opportunity to trade off any unused allowance which allows countries to stay within their emission control goals. So, the next big market would undoubtedly be Emissions trading.
The above-featured image is for illustration and is credit to REFINITIV.
KUWAIT: Step into the world of carbon credits. Picture this: A permit granting countries and organizations a set carbon emission limit. But here’s where it gets intriguing – if they don’t use up their allowance, they can trade it. Imagine a company selling its unused emissions to another that’s gone overboard their emission limits. In simple words, carbon credits grant organizations the right to emit a certain amount of CO2 annually, acting as a regulatory framework which allows countries to stay within their emission control goals.
Emission trading systems
Carbon markets mainly fall into two types: Compliance and voluntary. Compliance markets emerge due to the presence of national, regional and/or global policies or regulatory obligations. These are obligatory responsibilities that businesses must meet. Voluntary carbon markets, both at the national and international levels, refer to the voluntary trading, purchasing and selling of carbon credits. The current supply of voluntary carbon credits comes mostly from private organizations that develop carbon projects, or governments with certified programs that reduce emissions and/or removals.
Demand is generated by businesses with sustainability goals, private individuals looking to offset their carbon footprints and other parties looking to profit by trading credits. One of the first tradable emission offset mechanisms is the 1997 US Clean Air Act. This act enabled a permitted facility to increase emissions if it compensated by paying another company to cut emissions by an equal or greater amount.
This act laid the groundwork for a mesmerizing dance of emission trading that echoes across subnational, national, and international stages. In 2023, under India’s Carbon Credit Trading Scheme, entities exceeding emission limits now face a choice: Pay a penalty or embrace responsible practices. Programs like California’s Cap Trade Program cover about 85 percent of statewide GHG emissions. One of the biggest emission trading systems is the European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS), which witnessed emission allowances from €12.4 per ton by the end of 2010 to a jaw-dropping €100.3 per metric ton of CO? by 2023.
Carbon offset schemes for carbon credit
Let’s talk about carbon offset schemes — these schemes are programs which produce credits in exchange for funding programs that offset carbon emissions. Carbon credits and offsets are produced from diverse projects like fuel switching, energy efficiency, reforestation and renewable energy. In practice, a developed country can fund a greenhouse gas reduction project in a developing country. As a result, the developed country receives credit for achieving its carbon reduction goals, while the developing country receives funding for projects, technologies or a favorable change in land use. This falls under the Clean Development Mechanism, a UN-administered carbon offset initiative. CORSIA, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, represents a global initiative aimed at limiting international aviation emissions, which also establishes a framework for generating credits and offsets on a global scale. The REDD+ program is another international program that aims to monetize landowners to refrain from deforestation or degradation. In doing so, the program fosters a collaborative balance between conservation and compensation. Dr Nadine Moustafa, a PhD researcher specializing in carbon capture technologies, said: “Should Kuwait embark on implementing such a scheme, it must brace itself for an ongoing and vigilant monitoring process.
Embracing an emissions trading scheme becomes especially pivotal if Kuwait intends to embrace industrial innovation, championing technologies like carbon capture and storage.” Some carbon markets are implementing blockchain technology for processes like tracking carbon credit transactions or monitoring, reporting and verification. This can improve the auditability of emission-reduction project data, streamlining verification processes, thus reducing transaction costs and enhancing trust among market participants, according to the World bank.
Value of Credits
How are the carbon credits valued? How can we ensure the quality of a carbon credit? How do we determine the value of a carbon credit produced by a carbon offset program? We will all answer it here. A number of factors can affect the prices of the value of the credits produced in an offset program. Project development costs and certification from a respected organization, projects that absorb CO2 and projects with added social and environmental advantages can all command a higher price. Carbon credits with older vintages tend to be valued lower on the market. The vintage is the year in which the carbon emissions reduction project generates the carbon offset credit. Certification programs are a key component of this community. In 2022, voluntary carbon market prices ranged from $8 to $30 per ton of CO2 for the most common types of offset projects.
Risks of the current market
Dr Moustafa also informed Kuwait Times about potential drawbacks and uncertainties such as carbon leakage, overallocation of credits, lack of additionality and inaccurate emission accounting. She added it is important to note that these risks can be managed and mitigated through proper design and transparency.
Carbon credit for Kuwait
Kuwait has huge potential to implement this into their system in the future, according to Shariq Ahmed, who works as an HSE Specialist in a Kuwait petroleum company. “Several factors could influence the implementation and success of carbon credits or an emission trading system, as Kuwait’s economy profoundly depend on oil exports, and the oil industry is a major supplier to its carbon emissions.
The availability of technologies for monitoring and reporting emissions is important for an effective ETS or carbon credit system. Precise measurement is necessary to ensure the integrity of emission reductions,” he said. Kuwait Finance House supported the first carbon offset platform in 2021. Its aim was to mitigate carbon emissions by increasing tree plantings and starting new environmental projects. But Kuwait has still not established a proper emissions trading system.
A transboundary groundwater agreement between two adjoining countries in the Middle East could be a first in the MENA region. Here are some thoughts.
The above-featured image is for illustration and is of MEED.
Al Disi aquifer is an essential source of fresh water for the area between Jordan and Saudi Arabia, especially for this part of the land’s high temperature and dry climate. It is due to its efficiency in sustainable water development with the environmental and ecological balance. This aquifer lies in a massive area of almost all of Jordan and extends to the size of Tabuk in Saudi Arabia, compromising a confined groundwater aquifer. At the beginning of 1977, Saudi Arabia and Jordan started to extract water from the aquifer for different purposes. This situation had been changed in the early 80s when most of the water production from Disi was taken to the City of Aqaba, which depended on this water source mainly for municipal and local consumption at that period. The city of Aqaba is assumed to be an area of free trade that depends on many economic activities like tourism and investments, and from that era, the government and many research groups in Jordan knew the economic and ecological value of this source and both governments in 1983 started to use this water excessively in agriculture. For example, a Jordanian farming corporation (Rum Farms) increased its water abstraction from the Disi aquifer from 1.2 MCM (Million Cubic Meters) per year in the 80s to 55 MCM/year in 2001.
Similarly, Saudi Arabia increased its consumption from 50 MCM/per year in the 80s to 91 MCM in 2004 for agricultural use. The Government of Jordan changed its plans from using the aquifer water in irrigation and farming to providing water for domestic and municipal use in Amman in 2013 due to the increased pressure on water resources and the extreme shortage of drinking water. The government of Jordan undertook this project without the consent of its Saudi counterpart across the border. This negligence caused the World Bank not to support this project.
The importance of the Agreement of Al Disi Aquifer
This aquifer agreement represents one of the contemporary approaches to transboundary underground water management that focuses on allocating water abstraction in particular areas and avoiding vulnerable ones, which supports water management. The aquifer agreement is significant on the national, regional, and international levels due to the new perspective of water management that depends on the water allocation management approach, which recommends abstracting water from safe and economic locations.
At the national level, the agreement represents the ultimate solution for the two countries over-abstraction of the ground transboundary water. It can achieve many benefits for both parties and reduce the climate change impacts on water and ecosystems in general significantly, that each country, according to this agreement, has the right to utilize its water for domestic and municipal use; in this case, Jordan may continue to convey the groundwater in Al Disi-Amman Conveyance project also it is one step towards the sustainable water by cooperation in water utilization at the political level, which was violated by individual work of both parties by the private irrigation projects in the 80s causing overdraft for the groundwater in that area On the other hand, it is an evolution from unsustainable water projects, like the conveyance project of transferring water to Amman, to more transboundary cooperational water projects that use the water sustainably, especially that by the aquifer agreement that has many customary principles like no significant harm and equitable utilization.
At the international level, the aquifer agreement is considered a new international bilateral transboundary water agreement that contributes to the cooperation in underground water management between the two countries. The agreement is regarded as one of the leading transboundary groundwater bilateral agreements in binding the abstraction from a ‘protected area’ while defining the safe areas for pumping water, called’ management area’. The groundwater abstracted should be used for domestic purposes. Also, the agreement is very efficient in coordinating and technically managing the abstraction and use by the two parties of the joint committee, which control the safety, water amounts, and quality should be supervised, maybe in turn, through select experts and technical specialists from both countries to help in coordinating. According to many experts, like Elia M. Tapia-Villaseñor 1,*ORCID and Sharon B. Megda, the agreement between the two countries is considered a form of negotiation between informal parties at the political level and, therefore, could not be regarded as an absolute bilateral transboundary agreement.
At the regional level, the Disi agreement is still the new initiation for developing the regional cooperation agreement that might be a model in that area. Like the Guarani aquifer agreement in Latin America, it is believed to be the first attempt to power the parties to negotiate the critical and cooperative issue. Also, this agreement may be the initiative for the water unified management that relies on the technical problems by binding abstraction from the protected area whilst permitting to utilize from the management area, similar to those technical provisions in the Geneva aquifer. The fossil aquifer Al Disi like many transboundary aquifers between countries, like Northwestern Sahara Aquifer SASS, Tunisian and Nubian Sandstone between Egypt and Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System underneath Chad, Egypt, Libya, and Sudan, the World’s most significant non-renewable aquifer. These aquifers are essential to balance the sustainable development of nature. Furthermore, this aquifer is the only transboundary aquifer to have control over sediments when pumping water.
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Earth has been used as a building material for at least the last 12,000 years. Ethnographic research into earth being used as an element of Aboriginal architecture in Australia suggests its use probably goes back much further.
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