x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Gulf emissions in spotlight on eve of climate talks

The average Arabian Gulf citizen uses three times as much energy as his or her German counterpart, says a report to be published today by the environmental advocacy group Carboun.

The average Arabian Gulf citizen uses three times as much energy as his or her German counterpart, says a report to be published today by the environmental advocacy group Carboun.

Consumption in the region is projected to climb even as energy guzzlers such as the United States and China keep their per-capita appetite in check.

By almost any measure, the region has the dubious honour of having the biggest carbon footprint of anyone. China was the winner in one category - carbon intensity, or the amount of carbon dioxide emissions per GDP dollar - emitting 2.17kg of carbon dioxide for every dollar its economy created, thanks in part to its reliance on coal.

Gulf nations generated 1.46kg of emissions for the same economic result, although that was still three times the US' carbon intensity level.

The report, which relies on data from the International Energy Agency, consultancies such as Booz and Co, and Gulf governments, comes on the eve of climate change talks kicking off tomorrow in Bangkok.

The discussions are the last opportunity for climate envoys to resolve issues that could hold up formal negotiating rounds scheduled for November in Qatar, where they are tasked with brokering a climate agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

Ministers meeting in Durban last year only agreed to the creation of a "legal instrument" to come into force by 2020, rather than a binding treaty. They have the chance this year to decide exactly what such an instrument will look like.

"Qatar has the opportunity to drive negotiations towards a legally binding framework," said Matthew Farren-Handford, a senior manager for climate change and sustainability with Ernst & Young in Doha. "However, given historic failures to reach binding agreements in Copenhagen and Durban, it will be a test of the small nation's emergence as a diplomatic powerhouse and influencer."

ayee@thenational.ae

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