We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Mon 7 Nov 2011 06:18 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

Saudi Arabia named among top G-20 emissions offenders

New PwC low carbon economy index rates kingdom as one of the worst performers

Saudi Arabia named among top G-20 emissions offenders
Saudi Arabia named among top G-20 emissions offenders
Saudi Arabia plans to generate solar electricity equalling the amount of its energy from crude exports

Saudi Arabia was named on Monday as one of the worst performers in the G-20 for its level of carbon emissions in relation to economic growth.

A report published by Price waterhouseCoopers said the kingdom's emissions grew almost twice as fast as its GDP.

The PwC Low Carbon Economy Index showed that carbon emissions in the Gulf kingdom grew by seven percent in 2010 while GDP grew by 3.8 percent and had a -3.2 percent decarbonisation rate.

The analysis said only Brazil had a higher rate of 3.5 percent as its emissions in 2010 rose by more than 11 percent amid economic growth of 7.5 percent.

The report said global emissions were increasing faster than economic growth, reversing a slow, but gradual, reduction in carbon emissions intensity seen since 2000.

In June, Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali Al-Naimi said the kingdom plans to generate solar electricity equalling the amount of its energy from crude exports.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, has the potential to produce enough solar power to meet more than four times global demand for electricity, al-Naimi said in a speech.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil producers are boosting power supplies to service growing economies and populations. They are also looking for ways to use less of their exportable oil and gas as fuel for power stations.

The PwC findings showed that for the first time since 2000, no improvement has been made in reducing the carbon intensity (which reflects the fuel mix, energy efficiency and the balance of industry and services) of the G20, despite modest economic recovery globally.

The results call into question the likelihood of global decarbonisation ever happening rapidly enough to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

During the recession, many countries saw carbon emissions fall quicker than GDP, because manufacturing output fell.

But that trend was reversed during 2010, when global GDP growth was 5.1 percent but emissions growth was higher at 5.8 percent.

The increase in carbon intensity of 0.6 percent was the first time in many years that carbon intensity has risen, the report said.

It warned that unless the tie between economic and emissions growth is severed, the prospect of achieving the 2 degrees goal appears remote.

Leo Johnson, partner, sustainability and climate change, PwC said: “The results are the starkest yet. The G20 economies have moved from travelling too slowly in the right direction, to travelling in the wrong direction.”

Jonathan Grant, director, PwC sustainability and climate change added: “The economic recovery, where it has occurred, has been a dirty one. Even where there has been growth in OECD countries during the global financial crisis, it is too carbon intensive, and hasn’t increased carbon productivity.”

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.