A harmonized 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 an October 14 lecture titled "Development of Gulf Carbon Trading: Energy and Geopolitical Dimensions."
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 tons, compared to only 4.6 tons 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."
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 rationalize energy usage for domestic power production, allowing countries to conserve oil and gas reserves for future generations and help facilitate industrial modernization.