Climate research and poverty: a glimpse on how they’re linked

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COP27 is hosted in Sharm El Sheikh amid the participation of thousands of people, and lots of questions arising about climate change and how it’s linked to many other topics. Ahmed El Sayed, associate professor of economics at the AUC School of Business and director of research at Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) who’s participating in COP27, shared his views and opinions live from the biggest conference of the year.

How does climate change affect poverty?

Climate change is expected to have the greatest effect on the poor in the coming years and in several ways. Farmers in the agricultural field will be some of the most affected by this. Climate change will also have a negative impact on the access to clean air. At J-PAL,  We currently have studies that test out new ‘wetting and drying techniques’ for rice irrigation. We try to reduce water consumption using this technique. We believe it would be most helpful for farmers who have to pay for water on an hourly basis to irrigate their rice crops. It’s both an adaptation and mitigation technique and can help these segments of society both preserve water and save more money.

In terms of access to clean air, we believe that the biogas technology is the answer. Units will be attached to farmers’ houses to help them benefit from animal wastes and turn them into clean renewable source of energy. In addition, they get high-quality fertilizers as a side product.

What is J-PAL research showing on what works and what doesn’t for climate mitigation?

We work a lot with policy makers and our main mission is to fight poverty with scientific evidence. J-PAL is currently studying the feasibility of Bio-gas technology in farmers’ houses, and what exactly works when there is the right environment that allows the implementation of sustainable projects.

What are your hopes for COP27?

To deliver a strong message to the world about the importance of taking and action and saving our environment. It’s a great opportunity for Egypt and all of Africa.

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