Saudi Arabia: We Are an ‘Economically Vulnerable’ Country

October 9, 2009

(ChattahBox)—During U.N. climate talks in Bangkok, the oil rich country of Saudi Arabia, demanded financial assistance in the wake of a global climate pact, calling for the reduction in fossil fuels and carbon emissions. Saudi Arabia claims OPEC nations would suffer and are insisting that any climate change pact make provisions for their loss of revenue.

The Saudi’s demands for a better deal are not receiving a warm reception with U.N. officials. Even if all of the goals of the climate change talks are met, Saudi Arabia would still benefit from substantial profits.

A new International Energy Agency report shows that OPEC revenues would still increase $23 trillion between 2008 and 2030, if countries agree to cut emissions and significantly reduce oil dependence.

Mohammad S. Al Sabban, the head of the Saudi delegation called the report “biased” and claims instead, that his country would lose $19 billion a year, beginning in 2012, if a new climate pact is reached.

Al Sabban even went so far, as to say, Saudi Arabia is economically vulnerable. “We are among the economically vulnerable countries,” said Al Sabban to the Associated Press. The delegation head further claimed that Western nations are using climate change, as an excuse to reduce their dependence on foreign oil.

IndyACT, an Arab environmental group says the Saudis are stalling negotiations, until they extract concessions in the pact to protect the economic interests of OPEC nations.

Wael Hmaidan, the executive director of IndyACT said, “Despite the variability in the region, the current Arab position is mainly focused around protecting the oil trade rather than saving the planet form the adverse impacts of climate change.”

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