The drastic effects of climate change can be seen in every country in the world. Greenhouse gas emissions are now more than 50 per cent higher than in 1990; global warming threatens irreversible consequences if we do not act now. Yemen is no exception. Tropical cyclones and flooding now occur on an almost-annual basis, demanding substantial investment in disaster risk management alone – at a time when it is least affordable.
In the case of Yemen, the impact of conflict could be better absorbed through improved production and consumption practices. As an example, while almost 7.4 million Yemenis are malnourished, the cultivation of Qat accounts for the vast majority of all freshwater consumption. Production and consumption practices – such as redirecting water resources or reducing retail and consumer food waste – could improve supply chains, contribute to food security and result in a more resource efficient economy.
Globally, efficient management of shared natural resources and disposal of toxic waste and pollutants are critical to achieving this goal. Encouraging industries, businesses and consumers to recycle and reduce waste is equally important, as is supporting developing countries to move towards more sustainable patterns.