Why Green Technology and Renewable Energy Are Important in the Middle East:
Climate change has gained significant attention over the past decade. This is because the world has started to feel the effects of climate change more than ever before. Some countries are facing droughts that are threatening their food security, while other countries are experiencing floods that are displacing residents. Regardless, the main consensus across the board is that national governments need to act fast to reduce the scourge of climate change. For many countries, renewable energy is the most prominent solution.
Here, we will discuss why renewable energy is vital to Middle Eastern countries.
Renewable Energy and Green Technology Adoption in the Middle East
The Middle East has recently experienced an influx of renewable energy projects. For instance, a recent study found that there were no contracts awarded for oil-powered projects throughout the Middle East in the first half of 2021. On the other hand, over $2.8 billion was funnelled into renewable energy projects in the same period. This shows an increasing uptake of renewable energy in Middle Eastern countries.
Green Tech startups are equally on the rise in the region. Many of these startups have emerged to meet the market demand for sustainable tech solutions. While the global funding for green tech startups was about $32 billion last year, Middle Eastern startups accounted for a sizeable proportion of the funding.
However, renewable energy is more than just an investment or funding option. Its importance in the Middle East covers many factors.
Why Renewable Energy is Important in the Middle East
- Climate Change: The primary rationale behind renewable energy adoption is climate change. However, the importance of renewable energy is more prominent in the Middle East because the region has been experiencing severe climate change. For instance, due to climate change, droughts have been a significant challenge in the region. These droughts have resulted in water scarcity in some countries. For the Middle East to be able to tackle these climate change issues, it needs to overhaul its energy usage by reducing carbon emissions and adopting more renewable energy. This is why green technology has become more vital in the region.
- Shifting Global Focus: Many Middle Eastern countries have oil-dependent economies. However, the world is gradually shifting from oil due to its high carbon content. As more countries continue to move towards more sustainable energy sources, it might be challenging for oil-dependent Middle Eastern countries to thrive. Economic diversification and renewable energy investment will help prevent this occurrence.
- Achievement of Commitments: At the start of this decade, many Middle Eastern countries pledged to reduce their carbon emissions and increase their renewable energy uptake. For instance, Bahrain pledged to cut thirty percent of its emissions by 2035 and achieve net zero emissions by 2060. The UAE also plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The achievement of these commitments is dependent on massive renewable energy uptake.
As one of the regions worst hit by climate change, it is critical for the Middle East to prioritise renewable energy and green technology investment. These investments will ensure that the region can adequately address the effects of climate change.