The Middle East produces more than 40% of the oil consumed worldwide. It’s an unlikely region for a grassroots climate network to be born. Yesterday, that’s just what happened. The Arab Climate Alliiance, a coalition of more than 15 Arab non-profit organizations and foundations, was launched to promote the use of clean energy, energy conservation and to work with Arab communities affected by water shortages. Wael Hmaidan, a former Greenpeace organizer in the Middle East, and spokesman for the newly established Arab Climate Alliance, had this to say on the occasion:

“Our governments’ delegates attending the international climate negotiations do not have the needed support from the governments they are representing for several reasons. There is a gap and it is up to us, Arab civil society, to fill it.”

Indeed, the Arab World will be one of the most impacted regions, with water resources growing scarcer, threatening agriculture and food security.

The establishment of the Arab Climate Alliance is another signal to the world’s leaders that foot-dragging will not be tolerated by the people of the world, whether it is coming from industrialized or developing countries. those that consume fossil fuels or those that produce them.

This is example of the groundswell of support for strong action on climate change worldwide, and a testament to the fact that a path to 350ppm exists even in the most unlikely places.