Economics of Climate Change in the Arab World: Case Studies from the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia,
and the Republic of Yemen is part of the World Bank Studies series. These papers are published
to communicate the results of the Bank’s ongoing research and to stimulate public discussion.
This book takes both a global and local perspective in assessing the impacts of climate change on
the economy, agricultural sector, and households in three countries in the Middle East and North
Africa (MENA) region: Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen.
The major commodities affected by global climate change are food and energy prices, especially
since the countries under analysis are, or have become, net importers of oil and petroleum products
and many food products in recent years. Local climate change can result in decreased crop yields in
the long run, which slows productivity in the agricultural sector and may have implications for the
livelihoods of those dependent on the sector, not to mention the rest of the economy.
The analysis also covers what happens when both global and local climate change occur
simultaneously for each country. Findings indicate that in all three countries the effects of
climate change are negative for the population and the economy—GDP falls and livelihoods
suffer. Furthermore, the prevalence of extreme variations in climate—such as the droughts
affecting Syria and the floods impacting Yemen—draws attention to potentially significant
drawbacks. Not only are these drawbacks likely to affect any strides toward economic growth
and development, but also they may reverse such strides if appropriate policies are not in
place to weather this storm.