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Challenges and opportunities for climate policy integration in oil-producing countries: the case of the UAE and Oman

Al-Sarihi, Aisha and Mason, Michael (2020) Challenges and opportunities for climate policy integration in oil-producing countries: the case of the UAE and Oman. Climate Policy. ISSN 1469-3062

[img] Text (Challenges and Opportunities for Climate Policy Integration in Oil-Producing Countries) - Accepted Version
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Identification Number: 10.1080/14693062.2020.1781036

Abstract

In the context of international climate change obligations, Gulf Arab states have introduced policies to integrate climate policies into economic development and planning, seeking to maximize clean development opportunities yet at the same time to minimize the threats to their rentier economies caused by sudden shifts away from fossil fuels. This paper assesses the challenges and opportunities for climate policy integration in the Gulf states of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, examining the interaction between their climate policy and their political–economic regimes. It adopts a novel analytical framework that integrates insights from climate policy integration and the political–economic theory of rentier states. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders and relevant policy documents, it reveals modest progress in integrating climate policy into economic development plans in the UAE but major impediments to climate policy integration in Oman. Both countries face significant shortfalls in climate-related financial and human resource capacities. Climate policy integration efforts have focused on the energy sector with the purpose of protecting rents from oil exports rather than advancing a low-carbon transformation of their economies. This has created structural ambiguity in the climate policy integration advanced in the UAE and Oman. Key policy insights The availability, quality and accessibility of climate-related data are serious challenges for policy makers in the UAE and Oman. Both countries have evolving institutional architectures conducive to climate policy integration. However, these are more symbolic than substantive, lacking clear policy integration strategies across the governments. The UAE and Oman both face significant shortfalls in climate-related financial and human resource capacities. Support for climate policy integration by the ruling elites in the UAE and Oman is significantly shaped by rentier interests: most climate-related initiatives have addressed the energy sector, aiming to protect rents from oil exports by reducing the domestic dependence on fossil fuels.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tcpo20/current
Additional Information: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2020 16:45
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2020 13:27
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/105096

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