Beyond Nuclear and ISIS, Iran Looks to Paris

September 8, 2015

France 24 has a fascinating interview with Iran’s Vice President and Environmental Minister, Massoumeh Ebtekar, excerpted above.

Ektabar commented both on the current nuclear agreement with the international community, and looked forward to an international agreement on climate change. She called climate change “…an existential threat..”, and noted that climate change has already begun to have effects in Iran.  The current refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe, it is clear, owes something to a changing climate and extreme droughts in recent years.

At the bottom of the page, a very complete and succinct account of current environmental science and politics from, of all places, the Financial Times.

The only way we are going to beat this is, together.  Amidst the chaos and noise, people are waking up to the most important priorities.

Full interview at France24:

Iran’s first female Vice President and Environment Minister Massoumeh Ebtekar has told FRANCE 24 that July’s landmark nuclear agreement has had a unifying effect in the Islamic Republic.
Ebtekar said the agreement has not been as divisive in Tehran as it has in Washington, with the country’s highest power, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, giving his stamp of approval and thereby succeeding in bringing round those initially opposed to the deal.


From 2006 to 2011, large swaths of Syria suffered an extreme drought that, according to climatologists, was exacerbated by climate change. The drought lead to increased poverty and relocation to urban areas, according to a recent report by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and cited by Scientific American. “That drought, in addition to its mismanagement by the Assad regime, contributed to the displacement of two million in Syria,” says Francesco Femia, of the Washington, D.C.-basedCenter for Climate and Security. “That internal displacement may have contributed to the social unrest that precipitated the civil war. Which generated the refugee flows into Europe.” And what happened in Syria, he says, is likely to play out elsewhere going forward.


Syria’s child – a victim of climate change?

Across the Middle East and Africa climate change, according to climatologists at the U.S. Department of Defense-funded Strauss Center project on Climate Change and African Political Stability in Texas, has already affected weather. These changes have contributed to more frequent natural disasters like flooding and drought. Agricultural land is turning to desert and heat waves are killing of crops and grazing animals. Over the long term, changing weather patterns are likely to drive farmers, fishermen and herders away from affected areas, according to Femia’s Center for Climate and Security, and into urban centers — as has already happened in Syria. Both the Pentagon, which calls climate change a “threat multiplier” and U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have warned of “water wars,” in which rival governments or militias fight over declining resources, sending even greater waves of migrants in search of security and sustenance. On Aug. 31, Secretary of State John Kerry warned that climate change could create a new class of migrants, what he called “climate refugees” at a conference on climate change conference in Anchorage, Alaska. “You think migration is a challenge to Europe today because of extremism, wait until you see what happens when there’s an absence of water, an absence of food, or one tribe fighting against another for mere survival,” he said.

Not a bad summary here from Financial Times – and I take this to be a big reassurance from on high, that it’s now ok for corporate middle manager types to take climate seriously. Seriously.

3 Responses to “Beyond Nuclear and ISIS, Iran Looks to Paris”

  1. redskylite Says:

    Joe Romm connected the dots today in “climateprogress”, with very explicit and direct commentary, a decade ago he would be accused of being an “alarmist”, today I would define him as a realist, as the parallels to actual events are well evident. A non nonsense, straight talking piece.

  2. […] an earlier post, a video report from the Financial Times showed an emerging clear grasp by the financial press of what is at stake if climate change is […]

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