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Environmental concerns pose a serious threat to sustainable development in both developing and developed countries. But the environmental challenges facing the oil-rich economies of the Gulf are especially dire because of their excessive dependence on conventional energy sources to power electricity, transportation systems and water desalination activities. Decades of domestic oil subsidies have encouraged inefficient production and consumption of conventional energy, thereby contributing to high and rising pollution and environmental degradation with significant social and economic consequences. At the same time, more than 90 % of government revenue comes from oil, which is currently the major source of financing development programmes, which cannot be sustained due to the exhaustible nature of oil as well as its increased usage in domestic consumption. Even so, increased reliance on oil has lulled policy makers into a false sense of complacency, with little or no efforts being made to diversify the economy away from hydrocarbon and towards manufacturing and services. Equally, these economies are yet to pursue a more balanced approach to energy policy.
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HSBC (2011), The World in 2050: Quantifying the Shift in the Global Economy. HSBC Global Research. January.
According to BP’s 2012 World Energy Outlook 2030 based on a background paper prepared by Ruhl et al. (2012).
There are a number of authoritative bodies that engage in periodic updates of global energy outlook, including the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Vienna-based Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the UK-based British Petroleum (BP). Although estimates provided by these agencies slightly differ from time to time due to differences in assumptions used in forecasting models, the BP’s 2030 world energy outlook has benefitted from a highly acclaimed background paper whose model does not simply rely on trend extrapolation and is not constrained by any given policy scenario (Ruhl et al., 2012).
Calculated from information in Fig. 6.7.
Derived from data in Fig. 6.8.
Based on data obtained from both the EIA (2012) and BP (2012).
Derived from data contained in BP’s 2012 World Energy Outlook for 2030.
- The Way Forward
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