Bridging the gap
How will hosting COP 18 influence the Middle East?
Middle Eastern economies are developing rapidly and the region faces a number of sustainability challenges, especially in environmental and social terms.
One of the great hopes of COP 18 is the potential for engaging the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), traditionally skeptical of the UNFCCC, more deeply with the process.
Middle Eastern economies are developing rapidly and the region faces a number of sustainability challenges. The currently fragmented political and corporate response to sustainability has the potential to undermine competitive confidence in the region in both the private and public sectors.
Member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are already showing an increasing focus on the role of cleantech and renewables as part of economic diversification. Saudi Arabia is focusing on nuclear and solar as a means of generating alternative power in the region and freeing up more oil for export.
A growing regional focus on the need for economic diversification and increased sustainability could provide a unique opportunity in the short to medium term.