Environment Ministry's 2022 budget allocations to address climate change

Some government reports predict that the environment ministry’s expenditure for 2023 might reach JD7 million. (Photo: JNews)
AMMAN — Jordan’s Ministry of Environment has announced that the 2022 general budget would allocate, for the first time, specific funds that are explicitly designated to address climate change in its most pressing forms. اضافة اعلان

Every time the annual general budget is publicized, it elucidates how much capital each ministry shall receive and how it must be spent within a given timeframe. This year’s allocation of funds for the Ministry of Environment is unprecedented because a sizable portion of the funds is geared towards departments in the Ministry that solely focus on climate change and rectifying its harrowing impact on Jordan.

According to Al-Ghad News, an analysis of the Ministry of Environment’s expenditures has revealed that its budget for 2022 is roughly 23 percent higher than its 2021 budget. A closer look at the statistics also revealed that the Ministry's estimated budget for 2022 will be hovering around the territory of JD6 million, compared to its total spending from 2021, which is nearly JD5.5 million.

Some government reports are predicting that the environment ministry’s expenditure for 2023 might reach JD7 million. The investments will head towards an increase in solar energy resources and green spaces, among a host of other environmental projects.

Local environmental experts are convinced that this is a much-needed step in the right direction for Jordan while asserting that challenges remain inevitable.

Yehya Khaled, an environmental expert and former member of the Royal Society for the Protection of the Environment, believes that despite the laudable intent of these investments, there remains a pivotal responsibility on every Jordanian to be conscious of climate issues, in order to combat climate change effectively.

“No one is doubting that these allocations are a massive improvement in our approach to climate change as a nation. However, without each and every citizen taking their duty towards climate seriously, by monitoring their day-to-day activities, the challenge will remain arduous.”

Khaled also explained that there are two strategies to deal with climate change, and the first is mitigation, which involves cutting down on carbon emissions as a means of mitigating the risks of climate change. The second strategy is adaptation, which focuses on finding ways to readjust our lives in accordance with the immutable changes brought forth by climate change, like saving water as a response to water scarcity in Jordan.

“If Jordan needs help from external parties, whether it’s financial help or scientific guidance, the Green Climate Fund, which is a global entity, is very useful in providing financial assistance to countries for mitigation and adaptation,” he remarked.

Jordanian climate and sustainability adviser Shada Al-Sharif also lauded the budget’s anomalous recognition of climate change needs, specifically its attention to green spaces.

“While monetary action is somewhat useful to face climate change, the maintenance of green spaces, which are low-cost nature based solutions, are particularly effective.” Sharif elaborated that the efficacy of green spaces stems from the fact that they are carbon sinks, which means that they absorb carbon dioxide. Green spaces are a part of Amman’s “Green City Action Plan.”

When asked why it took so long for climate change to officially be a part of the national budget, Sharif said that it’s probably because the effects of climate change have become “especially pressing today.”  

She stressed that of all the climate issues that are looming large in Jordan, water scarcity is undeniably the most critical of all. “As temperatures increase, our reliance on water also increases.” The only problem is that water scarcity convolutes this reliance on water to a concerning extent. This is why future national budgets should put water scarcity at the forefront of its agenda.

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