For Gulf countries, 2021 was the year of ambition and new climate targets, and 2022 will be the year of implementation.
Mari Luomi is research fellow II for climate and the environment at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center. Luomi is a policy-oriented social scientist with 15 years of experience with think tanks, academia and consulting. She is best known for her work on climate change policy in the Gulf. In her other core area of expertise, global climate governance, she has a decade of hands-on experience having participated in U.N. climate change negotiations in various capacities, including capacity development and reporting. Luomi has worked for leading sustainable development and foreign policy research institutions: the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Georgetown University, and Finnish Institute of International Affairs. She led a research program at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy on energy, climate change, and sustainable development. Luomi holds a PhD in Middle Eastern studies from Durham University and an MSSc in international politics from the University of Helsinki.
In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic dealt a significant blow to global climate diplomacy, but the strengthening of a number of trends might signal more momentous changes to come.
The coronavirus pandemic has tested few industries as much as aviation and tourism, but Gulf governments have an opportunity to emerge as frontrunners in creating truly sustainable growth and jobs.
The coronavirus pandemic represents an opportunity to reevaluate existing policies and tools, and climate change provides the needed lens for redirecting development onto sustainable trajectories.