Public Perception on Climate Change
According to the Arab Forum for environment (AFED 2009), survey conducted on 19 Arab countries(including Saudi Arabia), 98 % of the respondents agreed to the fact that climate is changing. Additionally, 89 % believed that this is a human induced problem. It was the desire of more than 51% of the respondent to see their governments take more actions to address the problem of climate change. Of all respondents, 94% believed that actions by the government to cooperate with global community addressing climate change will benefit their country and the welfare of the population at large. 93% were ready to participate in these actions.
Less than 35% of the respondents believed that their government had taken the necessary actions as far as climate change is concerned. Government desire to take proactive measures and cooperative in dealing with climate change was evident. This means that these Arabs countries are ready to accept and be amidst those fostering actions to deal with climate change. Despite this good perception, climate change in Saudi Arabia is predominated by economic concerns, public disinterest, and distrusts of scientific research. Political climate, both external and internal politics plays a big role.
The society in Saudi Arabia is yet to be involved in environmental matters. The environmental awareness in Saudi Arabia is low. Saudi Arabia has not seen many calls from its citizens as they call for government to mitigate climate change as claims that the (Nonnenman 2005; Reiche 2009; AFED 2009) Climate change mitigation in Saudi Arabia or the GCC States. GCC states have been perceived as main actors blocking international climate change negotiations. Saudi Arabia effort to mitigate climate change is wanting. It has regularly showed a kneerjerking reaction and behaving in a non cooperative manner with other world countries.
In country such as Iran, there is a growing public awareness of climate change. The political climate is yet to allow democracy that will enable people to voice out their concerns as far as climate change is concerned. Government planning has also not been committed to ensure climate change is mitigated. (Reiche 2009; Nonnenman 2005). Despite few efforts to mitigate climate change, Saudi Arabia government has initiated some efforts to create public awareness about the environment. The government has also implemented use of technology that ensures emission from oil fields are at the lowest possible level.
Some advanced technology to employ renewable sources of energy associated with less emissions have also bee adapted although at a wanting rate. The Meteorological and environmental Protection Agency (MEPA), which is responsible for all environmental matters in Saudi Arabia has been monitoring and reporting the likely effects of climate change on this country. Increase in rainfall in some parts of this country has been associated with the climate change. (Nonnenman 2005). The Kyoto protocol has also received diverse implementation in GCC countries.
Iran is one the country which has emphasized on creating public awareness so as to mitigate climate change. She has implemented some of the environmental policies that enhance research, national planning, and public awareness in efforts to mitigate climate change. Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have not been committed to this agreement. (Tompkins & Amundsen 2005; Baettig Brander& Imboden 2008). Amount of carbon emission (co2) of Air pollution in Saudi Arabia Ramanathan (2005), basing his study constant return to scales rated Saudi Arabia as at least efficient as far as energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions is concerned.
This was in comparison to other countries in middles east and North Africa. Saudi Arabia is regional leader in carbon emissions. Her carbon emissions have been registering a rising trend for the last twenty years although this has not resulted into alarming air quality in most of her major cities. Saudi Arabia is ranked 14th among the world nations based on 2007 fossil-fuel CO2 emissions. Her CO2 carbon emissions are estimated to be approximately 110 million metric tons of carbon. Such high emissions have resulted from her economy consumption of oil products. In 2007 oil as a form of energy contributed to 64. 8%.
This economy has also been utilizing natural gas which has also been source the carbon emission. In fact natural gas accounts for 31. 4% of the total fossil fuel CO2 emissions. In the past, CO2 emissions from gas flaring used to contribute largely to CO2 emissions. For instance, it was estimated that in 1974, gas flaring accounted for 76% of her fossil-fuel emissions. However, this trend was corrected by utilizing new technology that enabled refining or reinjecting these gases. Currently, CO2 emissions resulting from gas flaring is less that 1%. Additionally, since 1950, Saudi Arabia per capita emissions has also grown rapidly.
It is estimated to be 4. 62 metric tons per person, a figure which is above global average. Saudi Arabia (Nonnenman 2005; Boden 2010; Larsen & Shah 1992; Ramanathan 2005) References Al-Saleh, Y. , Upham, P & Malik, K. , 2008, Renewable Energy Scenarios For The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia. Climate Change research Tyndall working paper 125. Arab Forum for Environment and Development(AFED) (2009). Arab Environment Climate Change. Technical publications and environment and development magazine.
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