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Towards a low carbon economy

With structural reforms and transformative policies, the Sultanate of Oman has already laid the groundwork for a low carbon economy and shift to low-emission sustainable development pathways

Shifting weather patterns resulting from climate change is one of the major challenges of our time. So there is no ambiguity about the need for collective and multilateral action to combat greenhouse gas emissions to avert a global disaster.

The 13th edition of the Emissions Gap Report 2022 by the UN Environment programme provides an overview of the difference between where greenhouse emissions are predicted to be in 2030 and where they should be to avert the worst impacts of climate change.

According to the report Closing Window – Climate, the international community is falling far short of the Paris goals, with no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place. Policies currently in place point to a 2.8°C temperature rise by the end of the century.

“The window is closing! The world is not on track to reach the Paris Agreement goals and global temperatures can reach 2.8°C by the end of the century to avoid a global catastrophe”, the report emphasises.

The report finds that only an urgent system-wide transformation can deliver the enormous cuts needed to limit greenhouse gas emissions by 2030: 45 per cent compared with projections based on policies currently in place to get on track to 1.5°C and 30 per cent for 2°C.

At the same time, the Sixth Assessment Report of the UN Inter-government Panel on Climate Change, to be released in March 2023, provides an overview of the state of knowledge on the science of climate change.

The report points out that approximately 3.3 to 3.6 billion people live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to climate change. “If global warming transiently exceeds 1.5°C in the coming decades or later, then many human and natural systems will face additional severe risks, compared to remaining below 1.5°C”, it warns.

Global human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.

With structural reforms and transformative policies, the Sultanate of Oman has already laid the groundwork for a low carbon economy and shift to low-emission sustainable development pathways

The Oman leadership has stepped up its efforts in advancing its expertise and methodologies to better manage the climate change risks over the past years. The adaptation efforts are underway, and the status of adaptation planning is still at a nascent stage.

The government's carbon control target plan is rooted in the Oman vision 2040 and the National Energy Strategy to support a gradual transition to a low carbon economy and an energy matrix that significantly powers carbon emissions by 2030. The massive deployment of renewable energy and the deepening of energy efficiency actions are the pillars of the 2030 carbon control plan in the Sultanate of Oman.

According to the EY MENA Climate Change Readiness Index, which measures the readiness of the six GCC countries as well as Egypt and Jordan, Oman’s CO2 emissions per capita fell by 16 per cent during the 2015-2020 period.

Significantly, this comes in line with the country’s ambitions to become a low-carbon economy and reach a net-zero emissions target by 2050.

In the GCC region, reveals the report, Oman recorded the second biggest reduction in per capita emissions from 2015 to 2020, only behind the UAE which managed to reduce its CO2 emissions per capita by 35 per cent during the same period.

Compared to 2015, the reference year for the Paris Climate Agreement, emissions per capita have fallen in five of the six GCC countries, as shown by the EY report. Qatar saw a small uptick in emissions per capita.

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