Middle East at the Heart of Ambitious Decarbonisation Agendas: PWC

Middle East at the Heart of Ambitious Decarbonisation Agendas: PWC

GCC strong oil revenue helps to maintain fiscal surplus, in turn enabling higher levels of spending which can be reinvested in renewables

According to PwC’s latest Middle East Economy Watch, the continued strong oil revenue across the GCC helps to maintain fiscal surplus, in turn enabling higher levels of spending which can be reinvested in renewables to help fund the energy transition.

Public and private sector collaboration in the GCC and MENA will be essential to make this work according to a recent workshop titled “Road to COP: Galvanising the region’s climate agenda” hosted by PwC in Dubai for regional media.

Ahead of COP27 experts from PwC’s Climate Action Taskforce discussed Middle East central role in decarbonisation agendas, and climate change. In this view, COP27 and COP28 will provide an ideal platform to reaffirm the region's commitment, towards sustainability. 

The workshop provided insights on climate change challenges and economic opportunities, from stepping up the climate agenda, and further outlined region-specific policy options, investments and new technologies to address these pressing challenges for both the public and private sector. 

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With only 1 per cent of the earth’s total renewable water sources, the Middle East is the most water-stressed region in the world, with nine out of the world’s 10 most water-poor countries based here.

This places water scarcity as a key priority and concern that has strong implications for food security and the sustainability of livelihoods.

Given current water consumption patterns, reduced rainfall and desertification only compounding these challenges for the region, Middle Eastern governments have important stakes in the outcomes of COP27 in Egypt and COP28 to be hosted by the UAE in November 2023.

Furthermore, the GCC countries specifically have a responsibility towards transitioning to low-emissions economies, with five of the six GCC members ranking in the top 10 for per-capita GHG emissions - producing about four times the world average per person.

Sustainable consumption is also a pressing concern with Qatar and UAE among the five countries with the earliest ‘overshoot days’ i.e countries that are using up natural resources much faster than recommended.

 Dr Yahya Anouti, PwC Middle East’s ESG Leader, said: “It is time to switch our collective pledges into collective actions, and the Middle East can play a crucial role in advancing the global climate change agenda over the next decade.

"The region is well positioned to drive the transition to net-zero economy by leading the shift to renewable energy sources, as it is blessed with an abundance of natural resources such as year-round sunshine that result in solar power costs being among the lowest in the world.

"Countries in the region are consequently investing significantly towards green hydrogen, ramping up green finance and developing critical capabilities around innovative climate technologies that can sustainably fuel the region’s decarbonised future and clean energy ambitions.”

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