Research Briefing | May 10, 2021

MENA | Is the GCC facing up to its climate change quandary?

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Climate change is an increasingly important issue in the GCC region and is receiving a sharper focus in growth and diversification plans in countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The region has several competitive advantages, not least in relation to solar and hydrogen power, that suggest it need not just fall victim to declining oil demand.

What you will learn:

  • The region needs to be fearful of rising temperatures. Oxford Economics’ research shows that the economic impact of global warming rises for countries that are already among the hottest in the world. The GCC belongs to this group.
  • Although dependent on oil and a manufacturing sector based on energy competitiveness, the GCC economies are undergoing transition and have longheld plans to diversify.
  • This means ambition and spending could be higher in the GCC than in other parts of the world, which could enable rapid progress in new sectors. This presents opportunities but also carries risks – GCC countries need to get it right or risk becoming old and dusty oil states.

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