01 Apr 2010:
Arab Nations Lag Behind in
Clean Energy Despite Climate Threat
Nations in the Arab world, a region that could face severe impacts from climate change, must act more aggressively to promote renewable sources of energy
, environmental experts warned during a conference in Egypt. While rising seas threaten to affect coastal cities and warmer temperatures could impact the region’s agriculture, the rate of greenhouse gas emissions in the region were among the steepest on the planet from 1990 to 2003, according to a UN Arab Human Development Report. The three biggest emitters on a per capita basis were Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Participants at the Arab Forum for Environment and Development said climate skepticism is high in that region where petroleum interests are considerable. And while some nations have adopted initiatives to capitalize on the region’s renewable sources — including solar and wind — there has been a lack of political commitment. “Arab countries are moving too slowly toward becoming low carbon economies,” said Ibrahim Abdel Gelil of the Arabian Gulf University.
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