UN’s 1.5°C Study Must Look Beyond Science, Saudi Arabia Says
Science should not be the only guidepost in an upcoming study of the pathways to and impacts of a 1.5°C limit on average global warming, Saudi Arabia advises in a two-page letter to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Instead, the petro-kingdom says socio-economic impacts for individual countries should be given equal weight alongside the data gathered for the study.
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“Policy-makers need to be informed of the projected social and economic costs associated with different pathways of combatting climate change, in addition to environmental costs,” states the September 8 letter. “Furthermore, policy-makers need to be informed of the availability and feasibility of various means of implementation, such as technology and finance, to enable them to make practical and effective decisions.”
As the world’s leading petroleum producer, Saudi Arabia “has long argued its reliance on hydrocarbon revenues means it would suffer in a carbon-constrained world,” Climate Home reports. However, the country has been charting a new course in recent months, with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman calling for an end to its “addiction to oil” by 2020.
“We will not allow our country ever to be at the mercy of commodity price volatility or external markets,” he said earlier this year.
The 1.5°C long-term limit was a signature achievement of the Paris Agreement, and the IPCC study is seen as one part of the process of moving the target from “veiled techno-utopia” toward reality.