In the lead up to COP27 in Egypt, all eyes are on the region. The acceleration of the global energy transition poses critical challenges for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with the transformation evolving into an all-encompassing economic, social, and political project for the region. Exacerbating this shift are two main factors: the over-dependence on hydrocarbons, coupled with ongoing diversification drives and ambitious reform programs aimed at widening the economic base.
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The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the world’s most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Over the past three decades, temperatures in the region have risen by 1.5°C, twice the global increase of 0.7°C, and climate models estimate a continuous rise in temperature over the region towards the end of the century.
The climate has drastically changed. Not only the effects of climate change, such as extreme weather events, accelerated sea level rise and more intense heatwaves, are raging all around the world at a faster pace than previously expected, but the climate that reigns at the level of international relations is dramatically worsening as well.
At the 21st United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Paris in December 2015 (COP21), 195 countries adopted the Paris Agreement – the first universal and legally binding global climate agreement.
As climate security becomes a widely discussed topic in international security debates, as very recently at the United Nations Security Council, one can witness a growing interest in security implications of climate change in the MENA region.
The big question going into the 2022 midterm election is whether the Democrats, currently in control of the White House and Congress, can avoid the electoral dubbing that basic political conditions portend. Although midterms usually cost the president’s party seats in Congress, the extent of the damage varies widely, with seat swings ranging from +8 to -64 in the House (average, -27), and +3 to -13 in the Senate (average, -4) over the 19 postwar midterms.
Since its creation during the 1820s, the Democratic Party has always been a broad coalition of partners with little in common, at least demographically. During the nineteenth century, it brought together white Southerners, rich and poor and nearly all Protestant, with Catholic wage-earners from the industrial North. Until two-thirds of the way through the twentieth century, Democrats retained the loyalty of most whites from Dixie – who abhorred racial equality – while gradually winning over Black and Hispanic voters too.
On November 8, Americans will be called to vote for a variety of federal, State, and local offices. Like every two years, the entire House of Representatives and 1/3 of the Senate (34 senators + 1 special vote in Oklahoma) will be up for election. At the State level, 88 of 99 legislative chambers – Nebraska having the only unicameral system – will hold elections, and 36 gubernatorial seats will also be on the ballot (there were only 11 in 2020).