How humanity responds to the climate challenge will shape the coming decades. More to the point, a nation's response to the impacts of climate change on its society, economy, and natural and man-made systems will determine its pathway to prosperity.
The Climate and Livability Initiative was established under the Office of the President, Professor Tony Chan, with the following mission in mind: to address climate issues of relevance to the Kingdom and the broader Middle East region, particularly in terms of understanding climate impacts, identifying implementable solutions, and promoting needed adaptation and mitigation strategies.
An overriding purpose of the CLI is to serve as a link between academia, industry, and government, providing a central hub where independent support and advice can be sought and provided. As national plans are made to adopt and implement ambitious climate adaptation and mitigation measures, the CLI will play a leading role in directing and advancing the climate conversation within Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East.
Climate change is a global issue, but has serious regional and local implications. The CLI will act as a hub for research and collaboration and help focus international attention to the array of cross-sectoral challenges facing the region - many of which link directly to KAUST research thrusts in food, water, energy, and environment.
With colleagues across campus and through engagement with world-leading international investigators, we are building the critical mass needed to tackle some of the major climate related challenges facing the region. It is a privilege to help guide the formation of this important initiative, and I invite you to be a part of this effort.
Professor of Remote Sensing and Water Security
Director, Climate and Livability Initiative
Climate change represents an existential threat to Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East region. Recognizing this, the Kingdom is formulating ambitious strategies to address the impacts of climate change on human heath and across economic sectors. Saudi Arabia is also developing plans to reduce its carbon emissions and transition towards carbon neutrality by 2060, in line with global goals to keep global temperature rise under two degrees. These strategies are integrated with the national vision and transformation plan, which aim to diversify the Kingdom’s economy and steer it towards a more sustainable future.
The KAUST Climate and Livability Initiative (CLI) will play a central role in these efforts by identifying, guiding, and delivering strategies and solutions that address the multi-faceted climate challenge, including its cascading impacts and the needed mitigation and adaptation measures. The CLI will play this role by drawing attention and focus to critical climate issues of relevance to the Kingdom and the wider Middle East region.
Research carried out and coordinated by the CLI aims to achieve the following goals:
The Climate and Livability Initiative (CLI) will advance the climate conversation within Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East by providing the scientific foundation upon which recommendations and implementation of climate action can be based. It will also serve as a link between academia, industry, and government, providing a central hub where independent support and advice can be sought and provided. Within KAUST, the CLI will act as a focal point for all ongoing climate and livability related research.