The Omani government’s focus on protecting the natural environment and wildlife goes back decades, but a shift in authorities might jeopardize the country’s progress toward advancing its national climate strategy.
Non-Resident Fellow, AGSIW; Research Associate, KAPSARC; Coordinator, T20 Climate and Environment Task Force
Aisha Al-Sarihi is a non-resident fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, a research associate at KAPSARC, and the coordinator of the T20 Climate and Environment Task Force. Her areas of research interest include political economy of environmental sustainability, energy policy, renewables, and climate policies, with a focus on the Arab region. In addition to scientific publications, her research has appeared in different media outlets including Al Arabiya TV, The New Arab, Asia Times, Earth Island Journal, and Oman Daily Observer.
She is a former visiting scholar at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. She also served as a research officer at the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Middle East Centre. Al-Sarihi holds a PhD from the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London, and an MSc and a BSc, with distinction, in environmental science from Sultan Qaboos University.
All of the Gulf states have made progress in addressing climate change, but by the end of 2019, only the UAE and Oman had established national climate action plans.
For the Gulf Arab states, renewables could contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also supporting economic goals of meeting increasing domestic energy demand and creating jobs.
Climate Change and Economic Diversification in Saudi Arabia: Integrity, Challenges, and Opportunities
While Saudi Arabia’s long involvement in global climate change negotiations has attracted mounting attention, little is known about the kingdom’s climate change governance at the domestic level or its progress in terms of addressing climate change in line with economic diversification.
The Gulf states are in many ways among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Carbon pricing could be a useful tool to meet emissions reduction goals and hence reduce the adverse climate impacts on the region, while at the same time presenting opportunities for economic diversification.
To meet the dual challenge of energy security and climate change, the Gulf Arab states need a holistic understanding of energy systems when planning an advantageous energy mix.
Burning coal produces almost double the amount of carbon dioxide than other fossil fuels such as diesel or natural gas.
Integrating Climate Change Policies with Economic Diversification Strategies: Challenges and Opportunities in Oman and the UAE
Since the 1930s, the Arab Gulf states have been defined by their hydrocarbon wealth.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, is expected to double its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2014 levels.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report indicates that each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.