Viridian Note 00227: OPEC Greens

Bruce Sterling []

Key concepts: global warming, rising seas, Abu Dhabi
environmental ministry, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iraq, Sheikh Hamdan ibn Zayed al Nahyan

Attention Conservation Notice: A rather standard piece of pro-environmental Kyoto-style rhetoric, but, peculiarly, it's coming from a sheik in a major oil- exporting country.

Entries in the Reddy Kilowatt Makeover Contest:

Not a contest entry, but a nifty-keen piece of Reddy Kilowatt memorabilia:

This contest ends March 20, 02001. Viridian Contest Archive:

Source: International Herald Tribune
Feb 7, 02001 page A8

"The Middle East is Setting an Environmental Example" by Hamdan ibn Zayed al Nahyan

"Sheikh Hamdan is minister of state foreign affairs of the United Arab Emirates and deputy chairman of Abu Dhabi's Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency. He contributed this comment to the International Herald Tribune."

"ABU DHABI == the Middle East has special reason to pay attention to global warming. Many of the countries of the region are low-lying and short of water. We are under threat from rising sea levels and desertification.

"By the end of this century, we are now told, sea levels could rise by as much as 88 centimeters. This could flood not only coastal areas of the United Arab Emirates but also much of the heavily populated Nile Delta in Egypt and Euphrates river system in Iraq.

"Increasing desertification threatens much of our agricultural land. A rapidly rising population places ever growing demands on our natural resources.

"Part of the answer to global warming is new technology, from windup radios to CFC-free refrigerators to desalinization plants. But ultimately, it will take tough policy decisions and the courage to follow through to reverse the frightening threat to humanity's common future.

"We are all in the same boat, and rich countries cannot simply shrug their shoulders and say it is the poor countries' end of the boat that is sinking. We must all step up to our different responsibilities.

"In the United Arab Emirates we are still a developing country, although we are blessed with the wealth bestowed on us by our oil and gas reserves. We need the funds in order to develop, yet must at the same time take account of the impact that this exploitation may have on global warming.

"To conserve oil resources, we are examining the possible uses of renewable sources of energy. (...) Results from research into the capturing of clean energy from the sun through a new generation of solar panels are encouraging. Before long it will be possible for us to construct buildings with photovoltaic panels that will generate most of the buildings' energy requirements. (...)

"This week the environment ministers of 19 Arab countries have been meeting in Abu Dhabi in an Environment 2001 conference, after adopting on Saturday a declaration which seeks to lay down a strategy for sustainable use of environmental resources throughout the Arab world for the 21st century. The stakes are high for us, and for our planet. We shall try to play our part. We pray that others will do likewise."

O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O
O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O