Jordan was amongst the first group of developing countries to ratify the UNFCCC and make an accession to the Kyoto Protocol in 1994 and 2003 respectively. In response to its obligations towards the UNFCCC, Jordan prepared and submitted its Initial National Communication on Climate Change in 1997 and the Second National Communication in 2009. Moreover, Jordan has launched its Third National Communication Report to UNFCCC in December 2014 and has systematically continued its efforts in responding to climate change by developing and starting implementing national strategies and policies such as the national climate change policy in 2013, the first comprehensive policy in the Arab Region and the Middle East.
Based on the base year 2006, Jordan’s share in global greenhouse gas emissions was 28,717 Gg of CO2 eq., which is 28.72 million ton (Mt) of CO2 equivalent. The dominant share of GHGs emissions in Jordan is energy (including transport)-related activities which have totaling 73% followed by waste and industrial activities totaling 10% and 9% respectively. Activities from Agriculture and LULUCF have the lowest, percentages, of 5% and 3.0 % respectively. Communication Report to UNFCCC 2014).
The Country’s bulk share of GHGs represents only around 0.06% of global total according to a global GHGs analysis conducted in 20102, the total GHG emissions are very small in absolute terms compared to other countries, however, serious vulnerability and impacts results are expected; Predicted trends indicated that the annual precipitation tends to decrease significantly with time and the mean, maximum and minimum air temperature tends to increase significantly by 0.02, 0.01, and 0.03 °C/year, respectively while the relative humidity tends to increase significantly by an average of 0.08%/year. In addition, the dynamic projections predicted more extremely likely heat waves and likely drought events, dry days, and potential evaporation among other potential impacts (Third National Communication Report UNFCCC 2014).
The impacts of climate change on Jordan is worsen due to Instability in neighbouring countries, high rates of population including waves of refugees, and consecutive increase in oil price which have increased energy consumption and its adverse impact on the environment.
Jordan is blessed with an abundance of solar & wind energy resources, however, renewable energy contributes to only 3-4 per cent of the national electricity grid and the figure is scheduled to reach 10 per cent by 2020. According to the Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, several projects are implemented or under implementation, and by 2020, Jordan will have solar and wind power projects with a total capacity of 1,600 megawatts.
In 2010 Jordan enacted a Renewable Energy Law that permits and encourages the exploitation of renewable energy sources at any geographical location in the country. The Law also creates a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund and permits home-produced energy to be sold to grid thereby accelerating the adoption of clean energy technologies at both residential and commercial levels.
There is good improvement in renewable energy policies, strategies, laws and by-laws formulation but community’s engagement in climate change activities is still not at the expectation level.
Solar Energy in Jordan:
Jordan is located within world solar belt (300-320 days of full sunshine) & has one of the highest figures of the annual daily average solar irradiance on a horizontal surface which ranges between 5-7 Kilowatts hour (kWh)/m2, this figure implies a potential of at least 1000GWh per year annually, which is almost twice the ratio in Germany, which by mid-2015 generated 34 per cent of its electricity via renewable energy projects.
Jordan can be divided into five solar radiation regions:
• The first region is the southern region, which is located 29.0-30.5 N, 35.0-38 E. This region is represented by M’aan and Aqaba areas and has the highest solar insulation in the country. In this regard, the annual daily average values of global irradiance are estimated between (6-7) KWh/m2 and (1.2 – 1.35) KWh/m2 for diffuse irradiance.
• The second region is the eastern region, which is located 30.5-32.5 N, 36.0-39 E. This region represents the semi desert and (Badia) remote areas in the country. Annual daily average values are about 5.5 and 1.5 KWh/m2 for global and diffuse irradiance respectively. The annual daily average of sunny hours is about 9 hours.
• The third region is the middle region which is located at 30.5-32.0 N, 35.5-36.5 E. In comparison with other regions, this area has the highest annual average value of diffuse irradiance ranging between 1.6 and 1.9 KWh/m2 . The global irradiance is about 5.5 KWh/m2 in this region.
• The fourth region is the northern region (32.0-33.0 N, 35.5-36.5 E). In this region the annual daily average values of global irradiance are about 5.0 KWh/m2 and about 1.5 KWh/m2 for diffuse solar irradiance.
• The fifth region is the western region (30.5-33.0 N, 35.0-35.5 E). This region represents the Jordan Rift Valley areas, where the elevation of areas is below the sea level (from –170m at Baqora to –250m at Ghor Safi). This region is very hot in summer and warm in winter.
Jordan has high values of solar energy radiation which makes the solar energy exploitation not only possible but also gives better results than that in other countries. However, despite Jordan’s excellent solar resources, installed solar capacity is very limited and JOCCEPS will work along partners to encourage increasing the use of solar energy.
Wind Energy in Jordan:
Wind energy is the most promising source of renewable energy in Jordan. The wind speed in some areas in Jordan can reach up to 11.5 m/s thus possesses high potential of wind energy resources consequently wind projects are feasible.
Generally, the most energetic wind can be found at a distance of almost 400 Km along the western border. In addition, wind speeds in the northern region reach as high as 7.5 metres per second and 11.5 metres per second in the eastern areas of the country.
Jordan’s environment has undergone significant changes over the centuries and continues to be threatened by a number of factors; industrial pollution, wildlife hunting and habitat loss. Moreover, a rapidly expanding population, due to Jordan’s absorption of millions of refugees since 1948 has resulted in the over-exploitation of many of its natural resources, especially water which has been drained and caused a sever damages to underwater aquifers like Al Azraq Oasis.
• Habitat loss
The diversity of animals in Jordan was formerly much more varied than at present. Ancient rock drawings and Byzantine mosaics suggest that the Jordanian landscape was populated by an abundant variety of wildlife, including ostrich, gazelle, Arabian oryx, Nubian ibex, Asiatic lion, Syrian bear and Fallow deer. It is also believed that crocodiles used to inhabit the Jordan River. However, many of these species have been either decimated or driven to extinction because of overhunting or habitat destruction.
Jordan used to be renowned for its forests and verdant vegetation. Numerous verses of the Bible refer to the “land of milk and honey,” yet today Jordan’s forests are much reduced in area. The main causes of deforestation have been cutting trees for wood, clearance for crop cultivation and the prevention of regeneration by overgrazing. The years 1908-17 were one of the most destructive periods for Jordanian forests, as the Ottoman Turks carried out massive felling operations to fuel their Hijaz Railway from Damascus to Madina.
Deforestation has damaged the environment by decimating the habitats of many animal and plant species while the Intensive agriculture practiced to produce food damages the environment through use of chemical fertilizer, pesticides and insecticides.
The Gulf of Aqaba, a branch of the Red Sea with 367 kilometers of coastline, 27 of which belong to Jordan, is one of the Kingdom’s primary tourist attractions and its only port access. Fortunately, however, Aqaba has always been acknowledged as more than a center of trade and tourism. Boasting one of the world’s most unique coral reef systems and rich in fish and aquatic plant life, the Gulf of Aqaba is an environmental treasure which Jordan is endeavoring to protect.
• Waste Disposal
The over consumption of resources and creation of plastics are creating a global crisis of waste disposal. Nuclear waste disposal has tremendous health hazards associated with it. Plastic, fast food, packaging and cheap electronic wastes threaten the well being of humans. Waste disposal is one of urgent current environmental problem
• Water Pollution
Clean drinking water is becoming a rare commodity. Water is becoming an economic and political issue as the human population fights for this resource. One of the options suggested is using the process of desalinization. Industrial development is filling our rivers seas and oceans with toxic pollutants which are a major threat to human health.
• Urban Migration
migration of population from high density urban areas to low density rural areas which results in spreading of city over more and more rural land, resulting in land degradation, increased traffic, environmental issues and health issues..
The need for change in our daily lives and the movements of our government is growing. Because so many different factors come into play; voting, governmental issues, the desire to stick to routine, many people don’t consider that what they do will affect future generations. If humans continue moving forward in such a harmful way towards the future, then there will be no future to consider. Although it’s true that we cannot physically stop our ozone layer from thinning (and scientists are still having trouble figuring out what is causing it exactly,) there are still so many things we can do to try and put a dent in what we already know. By raising awareness in your local community and within your families about these issues, we can help contribute to a more environmentally conscious and friendly place for all of us to live.
The country’s scarce resources and fragile ecosystems necessitate a viable and ongoing program of action covering all aspects of environmental protection. In order to maintain a viable resource base for economic growth, as well as to preserve the region’s natural heritage, Jordan must adopt a national environmental strategy
The strategic initiatives must facilitate and institutionalize long-term progress in the environmental sphere it should consider the following issues:
1. a comprehensive framework for environmental management
2. Jordan must strengthening of existing environmental institutions and civil societies
3. Raise of public awareness and participation in environmental protection projects
4. Jordan Priority must be for water conservation and development of new resources