Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is also facing some of the worst risks from soaring temperatures. Prince Mohammed said that the Kingdom is working to develop a … Its team has focused on the renewable fuel standard, a contentious law that requires refineries to blend ethanol or to buy credits from other refiners. 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. With the expected increase of electric vehicles, Saudi Aramco is preparing to shift away from crude oil and into petrochemicals. 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. 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.”. For many countries in south east and east Asia, including Saudi Arabia, their freshwater is expected to decrease due to the global climate. Saudi Arabia at Conference of Parties (COP), UN Climate Change Conference 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. Aramco, the bond filing revealed, earn profits of over $111 billion a year. Saudi Arabia’s lobbying prowess is legendary in Beltway circles, mostly for its influence over the lucrative sale of U.S. arms and other hot-button issues. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia constitutes the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. The World Bank’s Climate Change Knowledge Portal is best viewed on desktop screens with a screen resolution of 900 pixels or larger. The Intercept is an independent nonprofit news outlet. Simulations for climate change in Saudi Arabia predict that daily T a will increase by 3–5° C by the end of the 21st century, but rainfall patterns will remain the same (Al Zawad, 2008). In recent years, nevertheless, Saudi Arabia’s stance toward climate change has evolved from systematic obstructionism to conditional acceptance. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Saudi Arabia is very likely to rise greater in temperature averages than the rest of … For Saudi Arabia, climate goals will continue to be directly related to the sustainable development of our country. AFPM gave $1.25 million to the opposition campaign, which used the money to barrage voters with advertisements urging defeat of the measure. 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. Gross domestic product per capita is highly variable and the economy suffers greatly from the instability in world oil prices. The agricultural sector struggles due to the country’s unsuitable environmental conditions, though considerable nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoralist farming exists in some regions. 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. 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. Most desert animals resident in the Kingdom are non-migratory, and thus will be forced to cope with increases in T a if they are to survive. 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. Saudis have weaponized this water scarcity in their war in Yemen, targeting areas for their proximity to fertile land and destroying water infrastructure. AFPM referred questions about Motiva’s role in the trade group to Motiva, which did not respond to a request for comment. 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. A … 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. 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. Climate change is an important factor for sustainable water resource management in the arid and semi-arid countries. “Climate change concerns and impacts could reduce global demand for hydrocarbons,” the Aramco filing’s risk section declares. Brian Coffman, the president of Motiva, has a seat on AFPM’s board. Motiva, like other oil majors, shapes the energy debate largely through industry trade groups. AFPM provides $75,000 a year to the Heartland Institute, an extremist think tank known for declaring that there is no human cause or evidence for climate change. 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. 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. The … 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. © 2020  The World Bank Group, All Rights Reserved. Countries that do not pollute as much can voluntarily… This article has been updated to correct the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted by Saudi Aramco between 1992 and 2017. Assessment of these impacts indicated clearly that most regions have high vulnerability levels for climate change impacts on desertification processes. 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). 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. This section contains information from multiple climate indicators and indices relevant for key economic sectors. Future Prospects. We don’t have ads, so we depend on our members — 35,000 and counting — to help us hold the powerful to account. 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. But the Saudi oil company’s lofty branding campaign belies a stunning history of undermining action to address the climate crisis, a concerted effort designed to preserve the profits of Aramco. Saudi women and children stand in a flooded street in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 21, 2017. 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. However, ranked 60th out of 61 countries included in this year’s index, Saudi Arabia remains at the bottom of very low-performers. The country follows the pattern of the desert climate, with the exception of the southwest, which features a semi-arid climate. The company is a dues-paying member of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, a trade group for oil refiners. Aramco owns several refineries and chemical plants, including the largest North American oil refinery, in Port Arthur, Texas, through a company it controls called Motiva Enterprises. 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. 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. The climate of Saudi Arabia is marked by high temperatures during the day and low temperatures at night. The entertainment industry has been given extensive leeway during the pandemic, even as California now faces a stay-at-home order. The Intercept is a First Look Media Company. Pearlman worked closely with the Saudi delegation to introduce a series of obstructionist motions to climate talks. “The Saudis have been very good in making sure only weak measures have been adopted,” said Joanna Depledge, editor of the journal Climate Policy, who has written about Saudi obstructionism. 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. 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.”. 1. A major report on 1.5C has been excluded from formal UN climate negotiations, after Saudi Arabia tried to discredit its scientific underpinnings. 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. 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. Technological advances, such as electric vehicles, could also reduce the demand for refined oil products, the filing noted. 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. Anyone who was still questioning whether climate change can exacerbate violent international conflicts has only to look at Saudi Arabia, where drones struck oil installations in the eastern part of the country on September 14. Simple narratives can help you interpret and extract summaries of potential climate change impacts at the sector level. 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 … "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 … The section provides access to historical climate datasets for both temperature and precipitation from 1900 to 2016. Aramco did not respond to a request for comment. A recent investigation found that both AFPM and API are deeply involved in a state-based effort to obstruct electric vehicle investments. How many covert wars, miscarriages of justice, and dystopian technologies would remain hidden if our reporters weren’t on the beat? 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. AFPM, notably, has also bankrolled many of the groups that have played a vital role in the discourse around climate science. Climate change poses a serious risk to Saudi Aramco’s long-term business as rising sea levels and temperatures could damage infrastructure, curb productivity and … Our planet and rural communities cannot afford four more years of Vilsack’s aggressive corporatism. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is also facing some of the worst risks from soaring temperatures. 1K likes. Future revenue, however, could be curtailed sharply if major economies begin transitioning to renewable energy. Saudi Arabia has also been partnering with international stakeholders and has been a part of international efforts to combat climate change. The company’s various social media pages have driven home the argument. “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. Asked to describe their views on the environment, 35 percent of people in Saudi Arabia, 42 percent in Egypt and 52 percent in the UAE said human activity was mainly responsible for climate change. While Aramco has rebranded, the government strategy at impeding global climate negotiations has not. Saudi Arabia has put few climate policies in place, and diversification away from an oil-based economy has been slow. The U.S. diplomatic cables released by Chelsea Manning further reveal Saudi intransigence on more recent climate negotiations. The oil sector alone contributes up to 80% of the country’s budget revenues and 88% of foreign income is from oil exports. In stark contrast to its current splashy greenwashing campaign, Saudi Arabia has played a quiet yet powerful role in thwarting proactive climate policy at United Nations conferences and U.S. domestic policy battles alike. Competing visions of climate justice have alienated Saudi Arabia from other developing countries at UN climate talks in Poland. AFPM funds, using member oil company money, also flow to other groups that have lobbied against renewable energy policies. The linear and Mann–Kendall analyses showed an increase of temperature in all regions and decrease of rainfall in many regions. Smoke billows after drone attacks sparked fires at two Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia's eastern province on Sept. 14, 2019. on about your day, ask yourself: How likely is it that the story you just read would have been produced by a different news outlet if The Intercept hadn’t done it? Saudi Arabia has traditionally been a rentier economy, where government jobs distribute oil money to the population and keep social tensions from rising. Meanwhile, to the west on the Red Sea coast, the Saudi city of Jeddah has begun flooding yearly. Even as they push back against efforts to reduce emissions during climate negotiations, the Saudis are girding themselves for them in other arenas. Who would hold party elites accountable to the values they proclaim to have? Lee Fang[email protected]​theintercept.com@lhfang, Sharon Lerner[email protected]​theintercept.com@fastlerner. Beyond the international stage, the influence of Saudi Arabia’s lobbying clout has left an imprint on the domestic battles over climate change. Attempts to diversify the economy are being undertaken in such sectors as telecommunications, power generation and natural gas exploration. Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary Is Everything That’s Wrong With the Democratic Party, Hollywood Deployed Lobbyists to Win Exemptions to Strict California Lockdown. France’s Macron Is Ramping Up a Clash of Civilizations — but Will It Stop Terrorism? 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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 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. In 2019, Saudi Arabia started to take serious steps to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels as a source of electricity. While derailing international and U.S. domestic efforts to address climate change, Saudi Arabia is already experiencing some of its worst effects. Saudi Arabia lacks permanent water resources and, therefore, must depend on groundwater and seawater desalination to meet its water demands. Climate Change and Economic Diversification in Saudi Arabia: Integrity, Challenges, and Opportunities. The area in the report that Saudi Arabia is in is Africa (even though it is technically on the Asian continent). In this role, Saudi delegates have demanded steep concessions for poorer countries. Children wait to fill jugs with water during a water shortage in Sana’a, Yemen, on April 6, 2018. Saudi Arabia Climate Change. Saudi Arabia’s posture in global climate talks belies its true position on the ramifications of global climate action. 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. 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. AFPM funds the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the American Energy Alliance. Less scrutinized, however, are Aramco companies that have a seat at the table with other U.S. oil giants seeking to influence domestic energy policies. Another contributing factor to the freshwater decreasing is because the Large river Basins in Southeast Asia are being affected by climate change and their population growth rising makes the demand for freshwater rise. The country is arid, and the sand desert renders several regions susceptible to flooding and desertification. 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. Most of Saudi Arabia has sensitive ecosystem for any level of climate change especially on desertification processes. By 2100, field and vegetable crops are expected to require 10-13% more water because of changes in temperature and carbon dioxide levels across the region. 1) Saudi Arabia along with the rest of the world knows that the weather is getting warmer over time and they need to be able to adapt to the climate in order to continue living the lifestyle they live. This sea level rise puts coastal areas at risk of increasing erosion and inundation, which may destroy many of the countries’ wetlands & mangroves. This view is in stark contrast to both sides of the debate in the west. Saudi Arabia lacks permanent water resources and, therefore, must depend on groundwater and seawater desalination to meet its water demands. In this study, future trends of temperature and rainfall were assessed for several regions in Saudi Arabia. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is … Saudi Arabia faces multiple challenges to their core oil business. Saudi Arabia has in fact ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Please return to the site on a device that supports 900 pixels or larger screens. 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. Last year, AFPM played a critical role in defeating Washington State ballot Initiative 1631, a state referendum designed to institute a carbon tax. Saudi Arabia committed to tackling climate change, says Crown Prince. This summer, the temperature in Al Majmaah, a city in central Saudi Arabia, reached 131 … June 29, 2019 23:04. For nearly thirty years, the Saudi delegation has played a deft role in obstructing global efforts to reduce carbon emissions. In 2016, Saudi Arabia ratified the Paris Agreement and submitted its first Nationally Determined Contribution, which aims to achieve avoidance of up to 130 million tons of CO2eq by 2030 annually through economic diversification and adaptation. Consider what the world of media would look like without The Intercept. 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. 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. The Aramco-owned subsidiary also sells gasoline through Shell-branded gas stations throughout the southeast. "The CCE model provides an inclusive approach to focus mindsets on reducing emissions which contribute to climate change," added Prince Abdulaziz. The kind of reporting we do is essential to democracy, but it is not easy, cheap, or profitable. 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. All three groups have advocated against climate-friendly policies such as the low carbon fuel standard and the enactment of carbon trading programs. With France on edge owing to a slew of terror attacks, Macron has arguably fanned, rather than quelled, the flames of unrest. Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. 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. Action Plan on Climate Change, Adaptation and Resilience (WBG), Tool: Climate and Disaster Risk Screening Tool (WBG). 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. That’s all it takes to support the journalism you rely on. 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. Like other countries with coastlines and gradual slopes, Saudi Arabia is susceptible to sea level rise associated with climate change. In recent tweets aimed at an American journalist, he declared, “Trump will be in the office for another term to kill all of your nonsense climate lies.”. He has been a key Indian climate-change negotiator, and was also the Indian spokesperson at the 2015 climate negotiations at Paris. The think tank once sponsored a billboard campaign comparing those concerned about climate change to the Unabomber and Osama bin Laden. For the first time in the CCPI, Saudi Arabia is not the worst performing country. The demands, while justified at face-value, have allowed Saudi negotiators to extract lengthy delays, at times while working in concert with Western oil interests. 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. 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. 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. 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. In the 2019th G20 meeting in Japan, Saudi Arabia addressed the issue of climate change by introducing the Saudi efforts to produce and increase the production of renewable energy. T20 Saudi Arabia presents an opportunity to communicate pressing global issues to the G20. The 0.5 degree difference is also expected to double the number of plant and animal species that will become extinct. 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. 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 … The filing also shows the company’s focus on a range of petroleum products, including jet fuel. In the three categories GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy and Energy Use, Saudi Arabia is rated very low, both for the current level and for the well-below-2°C 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.. 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