Carbon trading only way forward for GCC region, says expert

| Oct. 19, 2010

Dubai Initiative Fellow Justin Dargin featured in an article concerning the signficance of carbon trading as an energy policy for the GCC.

A harmonised pan-Gulf carbon trading platform to make cost-efficient decisions about greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement will bring immense economic, environmental and geopolitical benefits to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which currently have some of the highest per capita carbon emission rates in the world, according to Justin Dargin, Research Fellow at the Dubai Initiative and Fulbright scholar of the Middle East.

Dargin's comments came during a lecture titled "Development of Gulf Carbon Trading: Energy and Geopolitical Dimensions" that was hosted by the Dubai School of Government, a research and teaching institution focusing on public policy in the Arab world. The event was attended by academic professionals as well as representatives of government and non-government organisations.

Dargin said, "Carbon trading is the way forward for the GCC. The average amount of carbon dioxide emitted per person (per capita) in the GCC is over 26 tonnes, compared to only 4.6 tonnes per head in China. But the success of a carbon-trading scheme in the GCC will depend on the countries' willingness to invest in renewable technologies, and whether oil companies are open to technologies such as carbon capture and storage that could have a huge positive impact on their emission levels."

"Accepting that renewable energy technology is still costly in the region, GCC governments will need to kick-start a green energy revolution," he added.

During the lecture, Dargin presented a set of policy recommendations on the most suitable GHG abatement mechanism for the region, based on cost and environmental benefits. He argued that a GCC carbon trading mechanism should be able to rationalise energy usage for domestic power production, allowing countries to conserve oil and gas reserves for future generations and help facilitate industrial modernisation.

Tarek Yousef, Dean of the Dubai School of Government, said, "Countries in the GCC currently do not realise their carbon trade potential. This could be due to inadequate knowledge about the multiple and long-term benefits of green energy. It is our responsibility as an institution focusing on public policy in the Arab world to raise awareness and educate the community on the importance of green energy."

Established in 2005, in cooperation with the Harvard Kennedy School, the Dubai School of Government is dedicated to the promotion of good governance through the enhancement of the region's capacity for public policy. DSG is committed to the free exchange of ideas and critical debate on public policy in the Arab world.

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For Academic Citation: "Carbon trading only way forward for GCC region, says expert." Dubai School of Government Press Release, October 19, 2010.

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