A recent European Union mission confirmed that Libya is one of the countries most affected by climate change and rising temperatures. Also, Libya witnessed a dust storm that had severe effects on climate change and its consequences for the country, which led to the fact that air traffic at Maitika Airport in Tripoli being stopped due to bad weather and a lack of visibility due to strong winds.
Climate change will cause severe droughts, water scarcity, severe fires, rising sea levels, catastrophic floods and storms, a decline in biodiversity, and challenges to agriculture. According to the Meteorological Center’s forecast, most areas of northern Libya have been hit by strong winds of up to 60 kilometres per hour, particularly along the coast, causing dust and a reduction in horizontal vision.
In many villages, such as Awiniya, agriculture is the main source of income for most of the population. When the revolution started in 2011, the raging violence forced many local farmers to abandon their land and homes to seek safety. After several years, farmers returned to the village to find their lands parched and vital infrastructure damaged due to the conflict, while the only water tank farmers used for emergencies in dry seasons was destroyed and homes were abandoned to seek safety. After several years, farmers returned to the village to find their lands parched and vital infrastructure damaged due to the conflict, while the only water tank they used for emergencies in dry seasons was destroyed. Most of the country in Libya is desert, and while 2% of the land is arable, more farmers are abandoning their farms amid a scarcity of water resources.
Libya’s rainfall has decreased after receiving approximately two billion cubic metres of water per year. It declined by more than 75 percent after only monitoring 400 million m3 stored inside dams.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stressed that climate change threatens economic development and sustainability in Libya, and Libya is one of the driest countries in the world, where the demand for water is much greater than the output, which leads to threats of depleting water resources, drowning coastal communities, and declining agricultural production, which increases food insecurity.
“There are also climatic changes in temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, and the amount of rain, and these changes have greatly contributed to damage to the arable soil.”
The researchers suggested measures to counter these changes, through the necessity of providing large vegetation covers in cities experiencing changes in temperature, while developing care programmes for them. Removing encroachments from Libya’s first source of drinking water, the man-made river, in order to take advantage of water, while developing and benefiting from all water resources, and rehabilitating dams in order to conserve water without leakage , the importance of relying on renewable energy, with cars that run on gas and electricity, of contracting with foreign companies to safely recycle waste to protect the environment, and of developing protection programmes for the Libyan coast, which is about two thousand kilometres long, raises concerns about expected temperature increases, sea level rise, and an increase in the occurrence of weather events.
While the permits came from the “COP27” climate conference held in Sharm El-Sheikh, they also addressed the issues raised on the agenda of the conference, most notably the Egyptian initiatives for “green hydrogen,” the “sustainable fashion” project, and the new initiative to phase out coal in 25 countries. It aims to see coal plants in many developing countries closed by 2040.
While in the COP 27 conference “ELICA” company discuss the possibility of increasing the electrical connection between Egypt and Greece in the future through renewable energy sources, this will be reflected on Libya. President Biden has pledged to quadruple the Climate Fund’s funding from the Obama administration’s ceiling and provide $11 billion in funding annually by 2024.
Libya is exposed to climate change due to extreme weather events and the impact of years of renewed conflicts; the country’s ability to adapt has become weaker. In the previous year, Libya experienced a significant drop in rainfall, and the rains only resulted in pools of water that evaporated quickly without penetrating the soil. The irregular density often causes occasional floods that severely damage the soil, affect agricultural production, and cause economic losses such as drought and poor soil, severely limiting production and forcing the country to import about 75% of the food required to meet local needs, according to the World Bank.