Saudi Arabia lacks permanent water resources and, therefore, must depend on groundwater and seawater desalination to meet its water demands. Technological advances, such as electric vehicles, could also reduce the demand for refined oil products, the filing noted. The filing also shows the company’s focus on a range of petroleum products, including jet fuel. In this study, future trends of temperature and rainfall were assessed for several regions in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is ranked among the most “water stressed” countries in the world — a predicament it deals with by using both fossil fuel profits and fossil fuels themselves to desalinate and pump seawater. Aramco is also a major board member to the American Petroleum Institute, the powerful oil lobbying group with vast influence in Washington, D.C. API, as it’s known, sponsors television advertisements, employs lobbyists, and maintains close ties with the Trump administration. Saudi Arabia has also been partnering with international stakeholders and has been a part of international efforts to combat climate change. The climate of Saudi Arabia is marked by high temperatures during the day and low temperatures at night. For nearly thirty years, the Saudi delegation has played a deft role in obstructing global efforts to reduce carbon emissions. According to Saudi Arabia’s filed report to the UNFCCC, “Options to increase the adaptive capacity of species and ecosystems in the face of accelerating climate change include: • Reducing non-climatic stresses, such as pollution, over-exploitation, habitat … Aramco also funds a variety of Beltway think tanks, including the Center for International Strategic Studies, a moderate group that promotes maintaining the U.S. strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia. The 0.5 degree difference is also expected to double the number of plant and animal species that will become extinct. Action Plan on Climate Change, Adaptation and Resilience (WBG), Tool: Climate and Disaster Risk Screening Tool (WBG). We have chosen the path of economic diversification and adaptation as a way to with combine national advancement, using our capacities to achieve mitigation in the most effective way. In the Katowice climate talks last year, Saudi Arabia, reflecting Aramco’s interests in jet fuel production, objected to having the International Civil Aviation Organization report on the climate impacts of aviation. Most of Saudi Arabia has sensitive ecosystem for any level of climate change especially on desertification processes. Please return to the site on a device that supports 900 pixels or larger screens. While the Trump administration is blaming Iran, Houthis in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack on Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, which is both the source of the kingdom’s vast wealth and, as the world’s largest corporate emitter of greenhouse gases, one of the primary drivers of the climate emergency making life increasingly difficult throughout the region. A … Future Prospects. AFPM, notably, has also bankrolled many of the groups that have played a vital role in the discourse around climate science. Indeed, under the principle that all countries have “common but differentiated responsibilities,” Saudi Arabia signed and ratified the Paris Climate Agreement a day before it came into force on November 4, 2016. AFPM gave $1.25 million to the opposition campaign, which used the money to barrage voters with advertisements urging defeat of the measure. Al-Sabban, during the 2009 negotiations in Copenhagen for a climate accord, declared on television that “there is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change,” and added that, “whatever the international community does to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will have no effect on the climate’s natural variability.” Now retired from his government position, Al-Sabban hasn’t changed his position. The Intercept is a First Look Media Company. Discussions came to a deadlock at the talks in Bonn after a small group of countries refused to engage in substantive discussions over how the report’s findings could be used to inform policies on increasing the pace and scale of decarbonisation. Saudi Arabia lacks permanent water resources and, therefore, must depend on groundwater and seawater desalination to meet its water demands. For the first time in the CCPI, Saudi Arabia is not the worst performing country. Prince Mohammed said that the Kingdom is working to develop a … Many governments around the world are moving to adopt carbon emission reductions in line with the Paris agreement, the Aramco filing further warns, a dynamic that could hasten reduction in the use of fossil fuels. The government and its state-run subsidiaries retain a roster of around 145 registered agents seeking to influence American public policy. T20 Saudi Arabia presents an opportunity to communicate pressing global issues to the G20. The record high temperatures throughout the Arabian peninsula this summer will increasingly become the norm, according to researchers, making parts of the country and the entire Middle East region uninhabitable. Since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meeting in Madrid, in 1995 — when Mohammad Al-Sabban, then a Saudi petroleum official, famously confronted scientists, claiming the science around climate change was not settled — Saudi delegates have maneuvered to push for a series of delays. "Saudi Arabia is the main protagonist in this attack on science, although the US has come to its aid," said Jan Kowalzig, speaker for climate change and climate policy poverty eradication at … Brian Coffman, the president of Motiva, has a seat on AFPM’s board. Climate Change and Economic Diversification in Saudi Arabia: Integrity, Challenges, and Opportunities. That’s all it takes to support the journalism you rely on. In 2019, Saudi Arabia started to take serious steps to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels as a source of electricity. Assessment of these impacts indicated clearly that most regions have high vulnerability levels for climate change impacts on desertification processes. 1K likes. Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary Is Everything That’s Wrong With the Democratic Party, Hollywood Deployed Lobbyists to Win Exemptions to Strict California Lockdown. This article has been updated to correct the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted by Saudi Aramco between 1992 and 2017. In recent years, nevertheless, Saudi Arabia’s stance toward climate change has evolved from systematic obstructionism to conditional acceptance. Countries that do not pollute as much can voluntarily… Saudi Aramco, the most profitable corporation in the world, released more than 40 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases between 1992 and 2017, the equivalent of almost 5 percent of industrial carbon dioxide and methane. AFPM referred questions about Motiva’s role in the trade group to Motiva, which did not respond to a request for comment. Saudi Arabia has traditionally been a rentier economy, where government jobs distribute oil money to the population and keep social tensions from rising. The company, closely held by the Saudi royal family, is now confronting the challenges of climate change in ways that mirror many western fossil fuel giants: by launching a rebranding effort that positions the firm as an environmental leader. Nasser led Aramco to help found the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, a splashy new effort to showcase the oil industry’s pledge to achieve “global net zero emissions” in the spirit of meeting the “ambitions set by the Paris Agreement,” the United Nations climate accord. James Smith, then the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, bemoaned the “obstructionism that Saudi negotiators have often shown,” in an email relaying negotiation talks to State Department officials. For those who don’t know what that is, it is basically just a pledge that any country can take that would obligated heavy emitters of greenhouse gases, to make efforts to try and reduce their emissions. Saudi Arabia is once again named as the worst-performing country on a number of climate change indicators in the annual Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI). This section contains information from multiple climate indicators and indices relevant for key economic sectors. Simple narratives can help you interpret and extract summaries of potential climate change impacts at the sector level. The corporate debt, used to fund Aramco’s acquisition of the Saudi Arabian plastics and chemical firm Sabic, included a corporate disclosure detailing the conditions that stand to endanger the profitability of the firm. Gross domestic product per capita is highly variable and the economy suffers greatly from the instability in world oil prices. Other refinery companies, including Koch Industries, Valero Energy, Marathon Petroleum, and ExxonMobil, are also members of AFPM, providing the group with $31 million a year to advance the industry’s interests. Joining is simple and doesn’t need to cost a lot: You can become a sustaining member for as little as $3 or $5 a month. Our planet and rural communities cannot afford four more years of Vilsack’s aggressive corporatism. Saudi Arabia does not have a single nodal ministry for climate change but different ministries (water, electricity, and agriculture) look at climate change issues within their own impact areas. Saudi Arabia’s economy is heavily dependent on oil, and with 25% of the world’s oil reserves, the country is the world’s largest petroleum exporter. This section allows you to explore the climate information from multiple climate indicators and present them with simple, embedded interpretation for an informative, high-level summary of the potential for future climate change impacts on key socioeconomic sectors. The Intercept is an independent nonprofit news outlet. Aramco did not respond to a request for comment. Competing visions of climate justice have alienated Saudi Arabia from other developing countries at UN climate talks in Poland. Despite the glossy greenwashing spin in Aramco’s latest publicity blitz, the company’s true fears about a shift away from oil were revealed this year in its first-ever bond sale. This section allows you to explore the susceptibility of livelihoods and natural systems to impacts from climate variability and change and facilitate the exploration of socioeconomic and development data and its relationships with natural hazards vulnerable areas. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Saudi Arabia is very likely to rise greater in temperature averages than the rest of … Saudi Arabia has put few climate policies in place, and diversification away from an oil-based economy has been slow. Saudi state oil company Aramco’s CEO Amin Nasser speaks during the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Sept. 10, 2019. The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees of warming, which had been the focus of previous work, could expose an additional 10 million people to the threats of sea level rise and tens of millions of people to suffering from extreme heat, water scarcity, and flooding. While Saudi Arabia has been standing in the way of climate progress since the 1990s, “I almost wonder if it hasn’t gotten worse,” said Depledge, who noted that, during the most recent UN climate change negotiations in Katowice, Poland, “Saudi Arabia was picking at point after point” in the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This sea level rise puts coastal areas at risk of increasing erosion and inundation, which may destroy many of the countries’ wetlands & mangroves. Saudi Arabia Climate Change. Consider what the world of media would look like without The Intercept. Even as they push back against efforts to reduce emissions during climate negotiations, the Saudis are girding themselves for them in other arenas. This summer, the temperature in Al Majmaah, a city in central Saudi Arabia, reached 131 degrees Fahrenheit, while rapid desertification was reported throughout the Arabian peninsula. This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets that aims to strengthen coverage of the climate crisis. Saudi Arabia accepts the reality of climate change and the need to mitigate CO2 emissions, but they say that oil and gas are part of the solution. The country follows the pattern of the desert climate, with the exception of the southwest, which features a semi-arid climate. Saudi Arabia joined with the U.S., Russia, and Kuwait to object to wording welcoming that report, which was published last October and spelled out the impacts of warming 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Who would hold party elites accountable to the values they proclaim to have? Saudi Arabia says it will press ahead with pledges it made under the Paris climate change accord, even if president-elect Donald Trump pulls the US out of the global deal after he is sworn in.. Along both the western and eastern coasts of Saudi Arabia, the climate is desert, and it's particularly mild in winter, even warm in the central and southern part of the Red Sea coast, while in summer, it's very hot everywhere, but it's sultry on the shores of the Red Sea, and a bit drier, and therefore torrid, on the shores of the Persian Gulf. While Aramco has rebranded, the government strategy at impeding global climate negotiations has not. The U.S. diplomatic cables released by Chelsea Manning further reveal Saudi intransigence on more recent climate negotiations. The section provides access to future climate datasets for both temperature and precipitation and their statistical derivatives for various timeframes and emission scenarios from 2020 to 2099. This summer, the temperature in Al Majmaah, a city in central Saudi Arabia, reached 131 … The company is a dues-paying member of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, a trade group for oil refiners. He has been a key Indian climate-change negotiator, and was also the Indian spokesperson at the 2015 climate negotiations at Paris. A major report on 1.5C has been excluded from formal UN climate negotiations, after Saudi Arabia tried to discredit its scientific underpinnings. The state oil company announced in March that it would be buying a controlling stake in Sabic, the Saudi plastics manufacturer, to utilize non-carbon-intensive products for its petroleum wealth. A recent investigation found that both AFPM and API are deeply involved in a state-based effort to obstruct electric vehicle investments. Beyond the international stage, the influence of Saudi Arabia’s lobbying clout has left an imprint on the domestic battles over climate change. The policies that could harm the demand for oil include “carbon emission cap and trade regimes, carbon taxes, increased energy efficiency standards and incentives and mandates for renewable energy.”. Saudi women and children stand in a flooded street in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 21, 2017. Like other countries with coastlines and gradual slopes, Saudi Arabia is susceptible to sea level rise associated with climate change. Saudi Arabia has in fact ratified the Kyoto Protocol. In one video, posted by Aramco last month and set to the wobbling bass beats of an EDM rave track, claims the Saudi oil giant has worked to leverage its research power “to deliver sizable reductions in CO2.” Another promotional video touts the company’s focus on emission control technology, stating that Aramco is “committed to urgent action on climate change.”. Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. The ability to adapt to a changing climate is largely dependent on national resources and thus the hardships associated with climate change are not equally distributed, with poor and disadvantaged populations and countries suffering most.2, 5 Compared with other countries in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is fortunate to possess the ability to make notable progress in addressing the … A report by the Arab Forum for Environment & Development identifies that agriculture is expected to suffer in the Middle East, and Saudi Arabia in particular, because of climate change. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia constitutes the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. How many covert wars, miscarriages of justice, and dystopian technologies would remain hidden if our reporters weren’t on the beat? Aramco, the bond filing revealed, earn profits of over $111 billion a year. Motiva, like other oil majors, shapes the energy debate largely through industry trade groups. The oil sector alone contributes up to 80% of the country’s budget revenues and 88% of foreign income is from oil exports. In early 2019, the government announced a new renewable energy target aiming to achieve 27.3 GW by 2023 and 57.8 GW by 2030, as part of its “Vision 2030” strategy. Rising temperatures have exacerbated water shortages in Yemen, where some 19 million people already lacked access to clean water and sanitation due to mismanagement and drought. June 29, 2019 23:04. The country is arid, and the sand desert renders several regions susceptible to flooding and desertification. In November 2016, Saudi Arabia officially endorsed the Paris Agreement that invited all nations to join hands for a common cause — countering climate change and mitigating its effects. “There is no limit to our industry’s potential if we can meet society’s demand for ultra-clean energy,” said Amin Nasser, the chief executive of Aramco, at the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, last week. This section helps you grasp key national adaptation policies and reports, explore options for key sectors, and understand current adaptation gaps and needs for enhanced climate smart planning. While Saudi Arabia’s long involvement in global climate change negotiations has attracted mounting attention, little is known about the kingdom’s climate change governance at the domestic level or its progress in terms of addressing climate change in line with economic diversification. Attempts to diversify the economy are being undertaken in such sectors as telecommunications, power generation and natural gas exploration. Don Pearlman, a former lobbyist with the law firm now known as Squire Patton Boggs, once led the Global Climate Council, an ad-hoc lobby group of fossil fuel firms convened to prevent curbs on carbon pollution. Lee Fang[email protected]​theintercept.com@lhfang, Sharon Lerner[email protected]​theintercept.com@fastlerner. Despite its vast oil wealth and high per capita income, Saudi Arabia often positioned itself as the voice of the developing world, winning the right to serve as a voice for the G-77 group of  developing countries in climate talks. While derailing international and U.S. domestic efforts to address climate change, Saudi Arabia is already experiencing some of its worst effects. Saudis have weaponized this water scarcity in their war in Yemen, targeting areas for their proximity to fertile land and destroying water infrastructure. Future revenue, however, could be curtailed sharply if major economies begin transitioning to renewable energy. In recent months, Aramco, through its Motiva subsidiary, has hired the Nickles Group, the lobbying firm founded by former Republican Sen. Don Nickles, to influence regulatory policy. Saudi Arabia is … “Climate change concerns and impacts could reduce global demand for hydrocarbons,” the Aramco filing’s risk section declares. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Saudi Arabia. The entertainment industry has been given extensive leeway during the pandemic, even as California now faces a stay-at-home order. The think tank once sponsored a billboard campaign comparing those concerned about climate change to the Unabomber and Osama bin Laden. AFPM funds, using member oil company money, also flow to other groups that have lobbied against renewable energy policies. 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