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Entrepreneurship: Our Greatest Weapon of Peace in the Battle Against Climate Change and Putin

The most recent issue of Foreign Affairs magazine is dedicated to the Middle East and the search for its role in the evolving world order. There is an excellent article by Georgetown University’s Marwa Daoudy[1] Scorched Earth | Foreign Affairs that discusses the issues and opportunities of climate change and climate action in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region.

Specifically, the article makes the argument for close collaboration between the US and Gulf Coordinating Council (GCC) on green technology development and deployment as an integral element to US foreign policy.

Dr. Daoudy’s argument as applied to the emerging situation with Russia can be surmised as follows:

  • The MENA region, with its already hot temperatures, diminishing water supplies and vast economic disparities is especially sensitive to the impacts of climate change.

  • The MENA region is thirsty for entrepreneurial wherewithal to reduce its economic dependency on fossil fuel production, address compounding economic disparities and tailor solutions to its own needs and characteristics.

  • Green and climate technologies are something that the MENA region very much needs and wants.

  • Russia is one of the countries least threatened by climate change given the vastness of its territory and northern location.

  • Russia’s entrepreneurial system is practically non-existent, stunted by the iron grip that the oligarch-regime axis holds over its economy and how it has treated its innovators.

  • Compared to the rest of the developed world, Russia has very little to offer when it comes to green technology.

  • The entrepreneurial ecosystem in the United States remains unrivaled in the brainpower and capital it can apply to opportunities and the speed in which it can develop market-based solutions.

  • The United States’ entrepreneurial engine is rapidly producing green solutions.

  • MENA’s oil/gas resources wisely coordinated with the United States’ energy resources, especially its rapidly growing green technology sector, can significantly dampen the disturbing actions of “bad actors” like Vladimir Putin while streamlining the stable transition to thriving decarbonized economies.

Simply put, as the climate crisis heightens and bad actors try take the stage, the time is NOW to integrate the United States’ most powerful and unrivalled resource into its foreign policy: its entrepreneurial ecosystem. It can help to peacefully bring about the change that our planet so desperately needs.

[1] MARWA DAOUDY is Associate Professor of International Relations at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and Seif Ghobash Chair in Arab Studies at the school’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.

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