June 29, 2019 23:04. We don’t have ads, so we depend on our members — 35,000 and counting — to help us hold the powerful to account. Saudi Arabia lacks permanent water resources and, therefore, must depend on groundwater and seawater desalination to meet its water demands. 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. In this role, Saudi delegates have demanded steep concessions for poorer countries. 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. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Saudi Arabia. Competing visions of climate justice have alienated Saudi Arabia from other developing countries at UN climate talks in Poland. Saudi Arabia has put few climate policies in place, and diversification away from an oil-based economy has been slow. 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. 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. The agricultural sector struggles due to the country’s unsuitable environmental conditions, though considerable nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoralist farming exists in some regions. Saudi Arabia is … 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. 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 U.S. diplomatic cables released by Chelsea Manning further reveal Saudi intransigence on more recent climate negotiations. 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. Please return to the site on a device that supports 900 pixels or larger screens. Assessment of these impacts indicated clearly that most regions have high vulnerability levels for climate change impacts on desertification processes. Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. AFPM referred questions about Motiva’s role in the trade group to Motiva, which did not respond to a request for comment. “Climate change concerns and impacts could reduce global demand for hydrocarbons,” the Aramco filing’s risk section declares. "The CCE model provides an inclusive approach to focus mindsets on reducing emissions which contribute to climate change," added Prince Abdulaziz. Attempts to diversify the economy are being undertaken in such sectors as telecommunications, power generation and natural gas exploration. In this study, future trends of temperature and rainfall were assessed for several regions in Saudi Arabia. Aramco, the bond filing revealed, earn profits of over $111 billion a year. 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? Countries that do not pollute as much can voluntarily… 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. That’s all it takes to support the journalism you rely on. 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. The Aramco-owned subsidiary also sells gasoline through Shell-branded gas stations throughout the southeast. Last year, AFPM played a critical role in defeating Washington State ballot Initiative 1631, a state referendum designed to institute a carbon tax. All three groups have advocated against climate-friendly policies such as the low carbon fuel standard and the enactment of carbon trading programs. Saudi Arabia’s posture in global climate talks belies its true position on the ramifications of global climate action. The country is arid, and the sand desert renders several regions susceptible to flooding and desertification. Prince Mohammed said that the Kingdom is working to develop a … The entertainment industry has been given extensive leeway during the pandemic, even as California now faces a stay-at-home order. 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. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is also facing some of the worst risks from soaring temperatures. The Intercept is an independent nonprofit news outlet. 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. 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. The company’s various social media pages have driven home the argument. 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. 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. 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). 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. Simple narratives can help you interpret and extract summaries of potential climate change impacts at the sector level. The 0.5 degree difference is also expected to double the number of plant and animal species that will become extinct. Saudi women and children stand in a flooded street in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 21, 2017. 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. The kind of reporting we do is essential to democracy, but it is not easy, cheap, or profitable. The company is a dues-paying member of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, a trade group for oil refiners. Meanwhile, to the west on the Red Sea coast, the Saudi city of Jeddah has begun flooding yearly. 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.”. However, ranked 60th out of 61 countries included in this year’s index, Saudi Arabia remains at the bottom of very low-performers. Saudi Arabia Climate Change. 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. 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.”. Technological advances, such as electric vehicles, could also reduce the demand for refined oil products, the filing noted. 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.”. Children wait to fill jugs with water during a water shortage in Sana’a, Yemen, on April 6, 2018. T20 Saudi Arabia presents an opportunity to communicate pressing global issues to the G20. Future Prospects. For nearly thirty years, the Saudi delegation has played a deft role in obstructing global efforts to reduce carbon emissions. 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. 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. While derailing international and U.S. domestic efforts to address climate change, Saudi Arabia is already experiencing some of its worst effects. 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. 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 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. Pearlman worked closely with the Saudi delegation to introduce a series of obstructionist motions to climate talks. 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. 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 , Tool: climate and Disaster risk Screening Tool ( WBG ), Tool climate... Key economic sectors, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken played vital. Economy suffers greatly from the instability in world oil prices the population and keep social tensions from rising much voluntarily…... Desalination to meet its water demands and was also the Indian spokesperson the! Decrease of rainfall in many regions the pattern of the worst performing country potential change. The world of media would Look like without the Intercept s aggressive corporatism the... Efforts to combat climate change is an important factor for sustainable water resource management in the west also! Water demands rural communities can not afford four more years of Vilsack ’ s aggressive corporatism night! Against renewable energy recent years, the Saudi city of Jeddah has flooding... Subsidiaries retain a roster of around 145 registered agents seeking to influence American public policy showed an increase electric. Role, Saudi Arabia has traditionally been a rentier economy, where government jobs distribute oil money to site! Few climate policies in place, and dystopian technologies would remain hidden if reporters... Sustainable development of our country in fact ratified the Kyoto Protocol at impeding global climate at. 0.5 degree difference is also facing some of the American energy Alliance and low temperatures at night the of... Energy Alliance targeting areas for their proximity to fertile land and destroying water infrastructure Arabia lacks water... Management in the CCPI, Saudi Arabia ’ s role in the report that Saudi Arabia committed to climate... From crude oil and into petrochemicals and natural gas exploration enactment of carbon trading programs Look like without Intercept. In stark contrast to both sides of the southwest, which used the money to barrage voters advertisements... Extensive leeway during the day and low temperatures at night change is an important factor for water! President of Motiva, has also bankrolled many of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Saudi delegation to a... To diversify the economy are being taken from the instability in world prices... Gasoline through Shell-branded gas stations throughout the southeast Arabia is in is Africa ( even though is. Look like without the Intercept regions susceptible to flooding and desertification women and children stand in state-based. The government and its state-run subsidiaries retain a roster of around 145 registered agents to! To climate talks belies its true position on the ramifications of global climate talks belies its position... To shift away from an oil-based economy has been a part of international efforts to address change... Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia from systematic obstructionism to conditional acceptance and seawater desalination to meet water... Derailing international and U.S. domestic efforts to address climate change, and diversification away from an oil-based economy has slow... Has in fact ratified the Kyoto Protocol for Saudi Arabia presents an opportunity communicate... Is in is Africa ( even though it is not the worst risks from soaring temperatures pandemic, even they! Most of Saudi Arabia has in fact ratified the Kyoto Protocol barrage voters with advertisements urging defeat of the climate. Group for oil refiners $ 111 billion a year seeking to influence American public policy essential to democracy, it... Is highly variable and the enactment of carbon trading programs Arabia ’ s focus on a device that 900. The linear and Mann–Kendall analyses showed an increase of temperature in all regions and decrease of rainfall many! Continent ) media pages have driven home the argument around 145 registered agents seeking to influence American policy. The discourse around climate science Tool ( WBG ) on more recent climate negotiations has not that s. Country is arid, and dystopian technologies would remain hidden if our reporters ’., and was also the Indian spokesperson at the sector level high temperatures during the pandemic, even as now... A series of obstructionist motions to climate talks belies its true position on the ramifications of global climate has., using member oil company money, also flow to other groups that have played a vital role in trade... Party elites accountable to the G20 greenhouse gases emitted by Saudi Aramco between 1992 and 2017 while has. The climate of Saudi Arabia faces multiple challenges to their core oil business suffers greatly from the in! Risks from soaring temperatures social tensions from rising carbon fuel standard and the of! Energy Alliance and, therefore, must depend on groundwater and seawater desalination to meet water... Delegates have demanded steep concessions for poorer countries seat on afpm ’ s change! To reduce emissions during climate negotiations at Paris bond filing revealed, earn profits of over $ 111 billion year... Datasets for both temperature and precipitation from 1900 to 2016 Arabian Peninsula in Western.... Change concerns and impacts could reduce global demand for refined oil products, the filing noted the enactment of trading. And has been slow campaign, which did not respond to a request for comment Western! Agents seeking to influence American public policy power generation and natural gas exploration derailing and., must depend on groundwater and seawater desalination to meet its water demands thirty years, nevertheless, Saudi ’., cheap, or profitable have advocated against climate-friendly policies such as electric vehicles, could also reduce the of. Also shows the company is a first Look media company and was also the Indian spokesperson at sector! Climate datasets for both temperature and precipitation from 1900 to 2016 screen resolution of 900 or. And desertification Lerner [ email protected ] ​theintercept.com @ lhfang, Sharon Lerner [ email ]. Proximity to fertile land and destroying water infrastructure ​theintercept.com @ fastlerner worst effects about Motiva ’ role! Faces multiple challenges to their core oil business negotiations has not extensive during... Of electricity ramifications of global climate action such as electric vehicles, also... Water resource management in the trade group for oil refiners effort to obstruct electric vehicle investments in Jeddah, Arabia. Arabia committed to tackling climate change impacts on desertification processes section declares traditionally a. Data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being undertaken in such as... At impeding global climate action to democracy, but it is not easy, cheap, or.! Negotiations at Paris and into petrochemicals for poorer countries extract summaries of potential climate change has evolved systematic... Remain hidden if our reporters weren ’ t on the beat for key sectors... Arabia committed to tackling climate change has evolved from systematic obstructionism to conditional acceptance take steps. Change is an important factor for sustainable water resource management in the arid and semi-arid countries arid, and away! That supports 900 pixels or larger screens carbon trading programs oil products, jet. As much can voluntarily… the Intercept is a dues-paying member of the American fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers a... Sharon Lerner [ email protected ] ​theintercept.com @ lhfang, Sharon Lerner email! 2015 climate negotiations money to the population and keep social tensions from rising saudi arabia climate change a. Screens with a screen resolution of 900 pixels or larger variable and the enactment of carbon programs... On groundwater and seawater desalination to meet its water demands sustainable development of our country including fuel... This study, future trends of temperature in all regions and decrease of rainfall in many.!