What do Kuwaitis (both citizens and non-citizens) think about, and how do they experience, climate change? This is the central motivating question of this project. Kuwait is proportionally one of the highest producers and consumers of hydrocarbons, at the same time, it is at the forefront of many of the weather extremes that climate change will produce. What Kuwaitis think about the threat climate change poses and, if and how, they seek to address it matters. Our current carbon-led social age is unsustainable. To sustain Kuwait, and modern social life, in these unsustainable times neither advances in science, technology, and/or technocratic planning are sufficient. Political, social, and cultural change and engagement is required. To be able to change it, however, you must first understand it.
This project is dedicated to illuminating the global linkages and local specificities around the socio-economic and ecological challenge that Kuwait faces in relation to climate change. It will emphasize the specific urban challenges for Kuwaitis in relation to climate change and efforts–or lack thereof– toward sustainable urbanization. The project is aimed at listening to and illuminating Kuwaitis’ own perspective on the impact, urgency, and importance of climate change in their daily lives.
Project website, including videos and images.
The Quiet Emergency: Experiences and Understandings of Climate Change in Kuwait
Deen Shariff Sharp, Abrar Alshammari and Kanwal Hameed, October 2021
Download the paper | التحميل بالعربية
The Quiet Emergency: Experiences and Understandings of Climate Change in Kuwait', LSE Kuwait Programme webinar, 3 November 2021.
Deen Shariff Sharp, Abrar Alshammari and Kanwal Hameed, 'Who Cares About the Polar Bear in Kuwait?', LSE Middle East Centre blog, 28 October 2021.
Deen Shariff Sharp, Michael Mason and Noura Wahby, 'Climate Urbanism in the Arab World: An LSE and AUC Academic Collaboration', LSE Middle East Centre blog, 13 December 2022.
English summary of 'High-level political and policy focus group', 9 March 2021.
English summary of 'Youth focus group (Arabic)', 24 February 2021.
Arabic summary of 'Youth focus group (Arabic)', 24 February 2021.
English summary of 'Youth focus group (English)', 23 February 2021.
Press coverage of the project
Beatrice Christofaro, ‘Kuwait’s climate crisis: A scorching nation in denial,’ DW News, 30 March 2022.
Fiona MacDonald, ‘One of the World’s Wealthiest Oil Exporters Is Becoming Unlivable,’ Bloomberg Green, 16 January 2022.
Bashayer Al-Majed, ‘Climate change leads challenges for Gulf states’, Arab News, 19 December 2021.
‘Who cares about polar bears in Kuwait?’, Kuwait Times, 31 October 2021.
Deen is an LSE Fellow in Human Geography in the Department of Geography and Environment at LSE.
Kanwal is a PhD candidate at the University of Exeter.
Abrar is a PhD student at Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies department. Her research explores sociopolitical issues relating to citizenship and inequality in the Arabian Peninsula.
Batoul is a researcher on the project.
Batul is a researcher on the project.