SUMMARY:Protests in the streets and political crises in the halls of power across the Middle East have clearly articulated many of the pressing, and long standing, social concerns in the region: from the absence of social justice, to fiscal and monetary pressures to outright violence and conflict. In recent years, ecological questions have gradually begun to move to the forefront of political debate and social concern. While the extent to which climate change is currently driving contemporary social relations in the region is contested; few scholars dispute the profound implications that climate change has for the region and in the Gulf in particular. The Arabian Gulf is proportionally both among the highest producers and consumers of hydrocarbons, at the same time it is highly vulnerable to many of the climate extremes that climate change will produce, ranging from: extreme heat, rising sea levels, and ever more severe dust storms. This panel considers the political and economic implications of climate change of the Arabian Gulf and engages how inhabitants of the Arabian Gulf experience and think about climate change, how it is discussed and engaged, or not. In addition to the scale of the region and the state, this panel will focus on the impact of climate change on the everyday lives of both citizens and non-citizens in the Gulf, and the differentiated impact of it across gender, race and class. Panelists consider how concepts, like environmental citizenship, have travelled from Western contexts and been deployed in the Gulf and why businesses in the region have been so keen to engage “green” issues but politicians have not.
SPONSOR:Organized under the auspices of the LSE Kuwait Programme