A look at oil producer countries’ vision for Paris climate deal

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As of Nov. 17, 164 countries out of 196 have communicated their intended contributions to the upcoming Paris climate agreement. The aggregate report published by UNFCCC on Oct. 30 included all the contributions communicated by Oct 1. However, some countries submitted their INDCs after the scheduled deadline. Among those missing in the aggregate report (table 1), a considerable number is represented by oil producers: Saudi Arabia, Iraq (INDC only in Arabic), Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Sudan.

Table 1  

COUNTRY
UNCONDITIONAL TARGET
CONDITIONAL TARGET
TARGET YEAR
REFERENCE
ADAPTATION TARGET INCLUDED
FINANCIAL SUPPORT REQUIRED (est.)
USE OF INTERNATIONAL CREDITS (to achieve the target)
Afghanistan
13.6%
2030
BAU
Yes
Total: USD 17.405 billion(USD 10.785 billion for adaptation, USD 6.62 billion for mitigation)
N/A
Antigua and Barbuda
achieve an energy matrix with 50 MW of electricity from renewable sources
2030
2006
Yes
N/A
Possible
Bolivia
Vision of “holistic development” (concept of “Living Well”)
“Results and actions to mitigate and adapt can increase “[…] “through mechanisms of international cooperation in the framework of the Convention”
2030
2010
Yes
N/A
N/A
Bosnia-Herzegovina
2%
23%
2030
BAU
No
N/A
Yes
Burkina Faso
6.6%
11.6%
2030
2007
Yes
USD 2.4 billion total(USD 1.156 for adaptation)
Yes
Egypt
to achieve “high CO2 mitigation levels”
2030
N/A
Yes
USD 73.04 billion
N/A
El Salvador
To boost energy efficiency and transation towards renewables; to limit emissions from transport sector
N/A
Yes
N/A
N/A
Fiji
10% of 30% reduction target is unconditional
20% of 30% reduction target is conditional
2030
BAU
Yes
USD 500 million
Yes
Nauru
“The unconditional contribution includes a secured funding of US$5 million for […] a 0.6 MW solar PV system “.
“The key mitigation intervention is to replace a substantial part of the existing diesel generation with a large scale grid connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system”.
2030
2020
Yes
USD 50 million for mitigation
N/A
Oman
2%
2030
BAU
Yes
N/A
Pakistan
to “reduce its emissions after reaching peak levels to the extent possible subject to affordability”
2025
N/A
No
N/A
N/A
Saudi Arabia
“to achieve mitigation co-benefits ambitions of up to 130 million tons of CO2eq avoided by 2030 annually”
2030
N/A
Yes
N/A
N/A
Somalia
Somalia commits to implement 9 projects profile targeting key environmental challenges
N/A
N/A
Yes
about USD 1043.43 billion
N/A
Sri Lanka
7%
23%
2030
BAU
USD 420 million for adaptation (for the 2016-2025 period)
N/A
Sudan
“to ensure deviation from the current development trajectory to a low carbon development”
2030
BAU
Yes
USD 12.88 billion (USD 1.2 billion for adaptation and 11.68 billion for mitigation)
Possible
Suriname
“stabilizing and minimizing deforestation andforest degradation” + to “establish a modern, efficient, affordable energy sector”
to “maintain its high forest cover and low deforestation rate” + “measures […] to upgrade efficiency” in the energy sector
2025
N/A
Yes
US$3.492 billion (USD 2.492 for mitigation, USD 1 billion for adaptation)
Possible
Togo
31%
2030
BAU
Yes
USD 3.54 billion
Possible
Trinidad and Tobago
30% in the public transportation sector – 15% in power generation, transportation and industrial sectors
15% of the target is conditional
2030
2013
N/A
Uganda
30% of the 22% reduction target is unconditional
70% of the 22% reduction target is conditional
2030
BAU
Yes
USD 5.74 billion for mitigation (“uncertain” costs) + USD 2.4 billion for adaptation,
United Arab Emirates
it “will pursue a portfolio of actions, including an increase of clean energy to 24% of the total energy mix”
N/A
Yes
N/A

Source: UNFCCC INDCs database

Amid the group, only Oman presents a quantitative mitigation effort, committing to reduce emissions by 2 percent compared to its Business-as-Usual scenario for 2030. Saudi Arabia presents plans and actions expected to achieve mitigation co-benefits for 130 million tons in avoided emissions annually by 2030. The other countries commit to more general pledges aimed to diversify energy production and consumption and encourage low-carbon transition. Countries choose different paths for achieving diversification and de-carbonization:

  • United Arab Emirates opt for “a portfolio of actions, including an increase of clean energy to 24% of the total energy mix”;
  • Saudi Arabia intends to ring-fence oil export revenues to increase energy efficiency and push transition to renewable energies and other non-fossil sectors;
  • Egypt pledges to cut energy subsidies within 3-5 years and strongly links its mitigation effort to energy efficiency;
  • Sudan chooses to increase both renewable energy (up to 20% of the electricity mix by 2030), and forest coverage (to 25% of by 2030);

Egypt, Oman and Sudan’s INDCs are conditional upon international assistance, needed to provide financial resources, capacity building and technology transfer. Oman specifically asks for help by UNFCCC but does not specify any budget request. By contrast, Egypt estimates that plans listed in its INDC would require USD 73 billion in financial contribution and Sudan calculates that the implementation of its INDC would cost about USD 12.88 billion (USD 1.2 billion for adaptation and 11.68 billion for mitigation).

As a general trend, the group of oil producers does not consider market based instruments as a first option for emission reductions, except for Egypt who plans to implement a new national market for carbon trading. In addition, the INDCs of oil producing countries are deeply focused on adaptation, and identify similar challenges to deal with: agriculture and food security, protection of marine and coastal zones and water management. This does not surprise considering that these countries are among the most affected by desertification and water scarcity.

Beyond the group of oil producers, also Bolivia and Pakistan’s contribution were released after Oct 1. Bolivia’s INDC is worth mentioning as it introduces a Climate Justice Index, aimed at assessing the fair share of each country to the global mitigation effort. Pakistan’s INDC, submitted about two month later than announced, does not present any specific commitment in emissions reduction, simply stating that “Pakistan is committed to reduce its emissions after reaching peak levels to the extent possible subject to affordability, provision of international climate finance, transfer of technology and capacity”.

INDCs submitted to date represent more than 80 percent of the Parties to the Convention and cover around 91% of global emissions. This is a breakthrough compared to the level of participations in Copenhagen conference in 2009, when just 27 countries planned climate policies heading towards negotiations. However, in its Emission gap report 2015 UNEP estimates that the target of keeping global warming below 2°C is unatteinable by the end of the century, as emissions are predicted to be higher by about 15 CO2e Gt. Even assuming that countries which submitted INDCs after Oct. 1 undertook the same level of effort of those assessed in the UNFCCC aggregate report, the gap to 2°C goal would not be zeroed, UNEP estimates.

 

[Image: Dubai, United Arab Emirates – UAE. Photo Credit Paolo Margari on Flickr]