During the past decades of fast economic expansion the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have focused on economic growth and diversification, but paid less attention to energy productivity. While they have succeeded in achieving a high rate of growth it has been fueled by a significantly higher share of their oil and gas production being consumed domestically. With fossil fuel exports still constituting the main source of government income for the GCC countries, the balance between economic growth and energy consumption is critical for sustaining their development course. Enhancing energy productivity through energy efficiency measures can prove the fastest and least costly means for maintaining such balance.
In view of the above, the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) have initiated a joint project to explore the energy productivity of the Arab region. The project focuses on the six countries of the GCC and will later extend to other countries. Aimed at policymakers, the project highlights the current state of play in each country, the social and economic benefits that come with enhanced investment in energy productivity, and a policy toolkit for government action.