Jordan wants to be the regional hub of the Green Climate Fund

Jordan is working hard to try to benefit from the global attention now being paid to the needs of developing countries to cope with the effects of climate change. The Jordanian delegation of some 80 environmental experts, youth and activists to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, aims to provide the
country one foot in the door of the vast financing potential that will come out of the climate summit that is projected to reach $ 100 billion.
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Bashar Zaitoon, an independent environmental sustainability consultant, told Media Line that Jordan suffers from climate change but does not contribute to it. “Jordan’s carbon footprint is less than 1%, but the problem is that all countries are affected in one way or another,” he said.

Zaitoon pointed out that it is generally the poorest countries that are most affected by climate change and that marginalized communities are often the ones that suffer the most because they cannot adapt and because the socio-economic situation makes them more vulnerable.

Zena Hamdan, an environmental media specialist, told Media Line that Jordan’s bill to reduce carbon emissions in the kingdom will cost $ 7 billion.

Delegates sit during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Great Britain, on November 1, 2021.REUTERS / YVES HERMAN

“In accordance with Jordan’s environmental strategy through 2030 that was unveiled in Glasgow, Jordan has committed to cover 5% of this cost, with the remainder to be covered with commercial and international support,” said Hamdan.

Elham Alabadi, director of the Ibda Al-Balqa organization, which focuses on the environment of the Al Arda area in Jordan’s Balqa governorate, told Media Line that Jordan is heavily affected by emissions from other countries in the region .

“We are dealing with geographic and regional wars against nature, hosting the largest number of refugees and we are among the poorest countries in the water. Add to that the fact that the Dead Sea is shrinking all the time, ”he said.

Alabadi called for a revitalization of the country’s environmental needs, which, according to him, require huge budgetary resources. “We have a talented population and natural diversity, but we lack the resources,” he said.

One of the main areas in which Jordan needs to make a great effort is the absence of forests.

Ahmad Shreidi, an environmentalist living in the Bargesh forest north of the capital Amman, told Media Line that the need to tackle deforestation is more important than planting new trees.

“We have a big problem to maintain the existing 1% of our lands that have forests. Forests need water and protection from arsonists and looters, ”he said. “We have not tried a single person for intentionally starting fires in our limited forests, even though 85% of the fires are started by humans and are not accidents.”

Shreidi said the idea of ​​planting about 10 million trees would be good if the resources were available to protect and irrigate. “In the first four years, the trees need constant watering; if they go 10 days without water they will disappear. If we cannot irrigate and protect the forests, it is better to put our efforts in protecting the existing forests ”.
he said.

Zaitoon said different formulas are needed to turn Jordan green. “The Badia desert is 80% of Jordan’s land and we need to make these areas green by planting them with the appropriate plants that might be different from what we need for a forest,” he said.

It is unclear what funding mechanism will emerge from Glasgow for the global support for the green economy that has been under discussion. There are currently two funds: the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund.

Zaitoon told The Media Line that it is very difficult for countries or national committees to obtain accreditation to manage such funds. The Jordan City and Village Development Bank is seeking accreditation so that it can support green projects in Jordan and possibly beyond. For now, all money that comes to Jordan for the environment is channeled through local branches of international agencies. “We need capacity building in this area to get the necessary funding,” he said.

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