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08 Apr 2009: Saudi Arabia Threatened
By Move to Curb C02 Emissions, Official Says

Saudi Arabia’s chief climate negotiator said that the drive to slash CO2 emissions, put a price on carbon, and make the transition to renewable sources of energy is a serious threat to the country and he urged industrialized countries to help the oil-producing nation develop alternative energy technologies. Interviewed at U.N. climate talks in Bonn, Mohammad Al Sabban said, “It’s a matter of survival for us, so we are among the most vulnerable of countries . . . Saudi Arabia has not done that much to diversify.” He said that at key climate talks this December in Copenhagen, Saudi Arabia would argue that any taxes on carbon should focus on emissions, not energy produced — a proposal that would favor oil over highly-polluting coal; that government subsidies should be eliminated for food-based biofuels; and that wealthier countries should transfer renewable energy technology to Saudi Arabia. A top priority, he said, would be the development of solar power in the desert kingdom. “Adaptation is not only to the impact of climate change but also the impact of climate policies,” said Al Sabban.


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