Saudi Sees Ramifications Of Climate Agreement
Saudi Arabia said on November 21st that a U.N. pact to halt climate change, under discussion this week in The Hague, would cause damage to its economy.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi said that: “We cannot accept that the industrialized countries transfer the cost of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to our countries by embracing policies and measures that would lead to reducing their imports of our fossil fuel exports on which revenues we depend to a great extent.”
The talks are intended to determine rules for putting into place a 1997 agreement to cut greenhouse gases thought to cause global warming. Ministers from 185 countries assembled to discuss the pact, which requires developed countries to cut their emissions by an average of 5 percent of 1990 levels by 2008-2012.
Naimi said that OPEC countries would sustain losses in income of more than $60 billion a year by 2010, if developing countries were to cut their consumption of fossil fuels under the pact.
The income loss, which the Saudi oil minister claimed would be felt most heavily by the kingdom, would equal more than one third of OPEC’s current oil export revenue.
Naimi also criticized western nations for imposing heavy taxes on oil and said that his country would offer more financial support to poorer countries to help with the consequences of climate change, including flooding and drought.