The Arab region contributes less than 5 per cent to global greenhouse gas emissions but is one of the most vulnerable to the potential ravages of climate change. In recent years, the region has suffered from rising average temperatures, leading to hotter summers and more frequent heat waves. Reduced rainfall in coming years will further exacerbate regional water shortages. Weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable, and the region is subject to growing extremes in terms of unusual meteorological events, droughts and floods, shifts in seasons, and growing variability of river flows and recharge rates of groundwater aquifers.
ESCWA works with the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE), the League of Arab States and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to tackle climate change issues. The Thematic Working Group on Climate Change (TWG-CC), founded in 2008 and led by UNEP, works to streamline cooperation between United Nations agencies dealing with climate change in the Arab region.