Kuwait has leveraged petroleum exports to build a prosperous society while maintaining its traditional structure of monarchy-led rule. But climate change and the global transition to cleaner energy present an acute dilemma for the country and its oil-rich neighbors. These producer states face serious risks from warming temperatures in one of the world's hottest regions. But any loss in hydrocarbon income threatens fossil fuel-dependent economies and family-based rule. Despite these challenges, Kuwait and several other Gulf states have pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the coming decades.
At this event, panelists examined Gulf perspectives on the energy transition with special attention to the case of Kuwait. What are the preferred decarbonization strategies in the region, and how do they contrast with those that prevail elsewhere? What are the region’s advantages and challenges for decarbonization? Finally, how will a global shift away from fossil fuels affect political systems and regional stability?
This free, public event was preceded by a private roundtable on energy in the Middle East.
The event was co-sponsored by the Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies and Edward P. Djerejian Center for the Middle East. Follow @BakerInstitute on Twitter and join the conversation with #BakerLive.
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11:30 am — Lunch
Noon — Welcome Remarks
12:15 pm — Panel Discussion
1:00 pm — Audience Q&A
The Honorable David M. Satterfield
Director and Janice and Robert McNair Chair in Public Policy, Baker Institute; Former U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon and Turkey
Managing Director for Planning & Finance and Chief Strategist, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation
Osamah Al-Sayegh, Ph.D.
Visiting Research Scholar, Baker Institute
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Ph.D.
Fellow for the Middle East, Baker Institute
Gökçe Günel, Ph.D.
Baker Institute Rice Faculty Scholar; Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Anthropology, Rice University
Jim Krane, Ph.D.
Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies, Baker Institute