THE ECO­NOMIC QUES­TION

Qatar Today - - GREEN SCENE -

Qatar, in its INDC, says that due to the coun­try's de­pen­dence on the ex­port of oil and gas, there is an “un­cer­tainty about the po­ten­tial im­pact of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of re­sponse mea­sures to cli­mate change that may neg­a­tively im­pact the strength of Qatar's econ­omy and po­ten­tially the qual­ity of life of its res­i­dents”. It rec­om­mends as­sess­ing the po­ten­tial im­pacts of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of th­ese mea­sures on Qatar with the ne­ces­sity of in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion in this re­gard to achieve the ob­jec­tives of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in line with the prin­ci­ples and pro­vi­sions of the con­ven­tion. So far eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion is the only real so­lu­tion avail­able to oil-ex­port­ing coun­tries in the re­gion but the pace at which th­ese economies are try­ing to move away from hy­dro­car­bons is way slower than what is nec­es­sary to meet the am­bi­tious tar­gets set by COP21. In the face of this, there are in­di­ca­tions that some Gulf na­tions' pri­or­i­ties are mis­placed – in­stead of try­ing to speed up di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, they are try­ing to con­vince the world that fos­sil fu­els and the fight against cli­mate change aren't nec­es­sar­ily the an­tithe­sis of each other. There were gen­uine con­cerns in Paris that Saudi Ara­bia, which still de­rives 80% of its rev­enue from oil ex­ports, would at­tempt to scut­tle the process. The Saudi del­e­ga­tion, which was ef­fec­tively seen lead­ing those from the re­gion, was re­port­edly try­ing to block the 1.5 C tar­get and lean­ing to­wards as-of-yet the­o­ret­i­cal so­lu­tions like car­bon cap­ture and stor­age. Iron­i­cally, OPEC met in Vi­enna, in par­al­lel with the cli­mate con­fer­ence, to de­cide that its mem­bers are no longer bound to the car­tel's pro­duc­tion lim­its, which were purely nom­i­nal in any case.

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