THE ECONOMIC QUESTION
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.