The Middle East after COP26

Middle East countries fared quite prominently at the Glasgow Summit, and Egypt and the UAE had the added successes of securing the hosting rights for the next two successive summits, respectively. Since 1965, twenty firms globally are believed to be responsible for a third of emissions, five of whom are state owned oil firms from the Middle East. No other region has more at stake from climate change than the Middle East. This is due in part to the fact that the region is already a “climate hotspot” and that the global energy transition from hydrocarbons could have dire impacts on the region’s economic outlook given that hydrocarbon sector accounts for up to 80% of GDP in some countries. To varying degrees, countries of the region have committed to ambitious targets, but like some of their western counterparts, have not provided details on how these plans will be translated into reality. The expectation is that significant funding and opportunities will be available across the region in green technology, green and blue hydrogen, and electrification of the economy. It is also expected that emission reduction targets will encourage the region to double down on their plans to explore nuclear energy to meet growing energy demand and the reduction of emissions simultaneously.

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