To further support Saudi Arabia’s development of a nationally determined contributions (NDC) implementation roadmap (IRM), a review and benchmarking of NDCIRMs, through the lens of the circular carbon economy (CCE) framework, will be conducted. This review will focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and like-minded developing countries, which face unique challenges in balancing climate targets and energy ambitions. This is due to inherent challenges including economic growth obstacles, energy challenges, water scarcity, food security, conflict and political instability, climate change and environmental challenges. Energy transition and climate goals in the MENA region dictate MENA countries’ NDC and define their climate roadmaps. However, implementing these NDCs remains challenging. NDCIRMs require designing and implementing sustainable climate change policies and national plans. Good governance structures, continuous involvement of all stakeholders, and strong engagement at the highest levels of governments, as well as developing a financing plan, are key in the roadmap development process. This project explores NDCIRMs for meeting net-zero targets through the CCE framework locally, regionally and internationally, with a particular focus on LMDC, the Global South and selective G20 countries for benchmarking purposes.
The project is of value and relevance to KAPSARC as it supports the Kingdom’s efforts to advance the acceptability and credibility of the CCE framework locally, regionally and internationally. It also directly supports the Kingdom’s pursuit of its NDCIRM toward net-zero. It also promises to engage in and impact global discourse around these pressing issues through various platforms. As such, the project will have a three-level focus: (1) Saudi Arabia, (2) MENA region, and (3) selective country case studies, as guided by the benchmarking exercise, with a particular focus on LMDC and the Global South.