(ORDO NEWS) — One of the hottest countries on the planet, Kuwait is becoming uninhabitable. In 2021, temperatures there broke the 50-degree mark for the first time in June, weeks before the heat peak. Bloomberg points out the risks of global warming.
Wildlife is already under threat: birds die in summer because they can’t find shade or water. Cats suffer from dehydration and heat stroke, wild foxes leave the desert and look for greenery in the cities. “That’s why we see fewer and fewer wild animals in Kuwait, it’s because most of them don’t survive the seasons,” said veterinarian Tamara Kabazard.
Kuwait is the fourth oil exporter to OPEC. It is not a lack of resources that prevents the Arab country from reducing emissions, but the inaction of politicians. Even neighboring oil-exporting states have pledged to take action to combat climate change.
Saudi Arabia has stated that it intends to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, the United Arab Emirates intends to achieve this goal by 2050. The countries are among the largest producers of fossil fuels, but have pledged to work to diversify their economies and invest in renewable energy.
Kuwait at the COP26 climate summit in Scotland pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 7.4 percent by 2035, far short of the 45 percent cut needed to avert climate catastrophe. “Compared to the rest of the Middle East, Kuwait is lagging behind in the fight against climate change,” said Oxford University researcher Manal Shehabi.
Kuwait has one of the highest per capita carbon emissions in the world, but the country’s residents aren’t about to give up gasoline, which costs them less than Coke. Wealthy citizens do not suffer from the consequences of global warming: houses, shopping centers and cars are air-conditioned, and those who can afford it often spend their summers in Europe. Dependence on air conditioners increases the use of fossil fuels, resulting in even higher temperatures.
Workers from developing countries cannot escape the heat in their air-conditioned homes. During the warmest summer months, the government bans outdoor work in the afternoon, but migrants can still often be seen working in the sun.
In September 2021, Kuwait decided to get rid of the world’s largest tire dump. The government decided to reuse car tires. Tires will be recycled and turned into new products such as flooring.
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