• Focus Area Climate Change Policies and Governance Climate Change Policies and Governance
  • Type Commentary
  • Date 4 June 2023


In this commentary, we provide a discussion of the factors that have led to the ongoing spike in natural gas prices. We then discuss the potential short- and long-term implications for the global energy transition and for users of natural gas, both residential and industrial. The analysis highlights that although the world has debated reducing investment in fossil fuels to meet the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming below 1.5° C, major energy consumers have been calling for an increase in oil and gas production to meet immediate energy needs and curb the current price trend. While renewables have promise for enhancing energy security, the current energy crisis has revealed that at the present-day scale, renewable energy investments are not able to meet ongoing energy needs, forcing countries to again unlock hydrocarbon fuel sources, such as coal, and putting the global energy transition on hold. The paper concludes with recommendations for policies that enable clean energy developments to be unlocked amid strained geopolitical contexts to avoid future vulnerability to similar crises.


Fateh Belaïd

Fellow II was a full professor of economics at Lille Catholic University and director of the Smart & Sustainable Cities research unit.… was a full professor of economics at Lille Catholic University and director of the Smart & Sustainable Cities research unit. Fateh has also held various positions at the French Scientific and Technical Center for Building and led multiple collaborative projects for the French Ministry of Ecological Transition and the European Commission. He is an energy and environmental economist drawing from the fields of applied microeconomics, energy modeling, and econometrics. He has published widely on household energy consumption, energy-saving behaviors, individual preference and investment in energy efficiency, energy poverty, renewables, and energy policy. He received a habilitation for supervising doctoral research from Orléans University, a Ph.D. in Economics, an M.S. in Applied Economics & Decision Theory from Littoral University, and an engineering degree in statistics. His work has been published in journals including Ecological Economics, The Energy Journal, Energy Economics, Economic Surveys, Energy Policy, and Environmental Management


  • Energy and Environmental Economics; Energy Efficiency; Energy Demand; Fuel Poverty; Energy Policy; Energy Saving Behaviors; Applied Econometrics; Smart and Sustainable Cities.

Publications See all Fateh Belaïd’s publications

Raed Al-Mestneer

Research Lead Dr. Raed is a Research Lead and an Economist in the Oil & Gas program, with a particular interest in…

Dr. Raed is a Research Lead and an Economist in the Oil & Gas program, with a particular interest in industrial development, economic diversification, and econometric modeling. He has worked with different types of econometric modeling techniques on different projects, especially in the field of economic diversification, oil prices and oil demand modeling. Prior to joining KAPSARC, he worked for Standard & Poor’s analytics and Capital IQ division in S&P’s headquarters in the financial district of New York, Wall Street, where he was involved in designing the first probability of default model tailored to the Saudi economy. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Southern Illinois University and was awarded a Master of Science in Economics from California State Polytechnic University. The title of his Ph.D. dissertation was “Economic Diversification: The Case of Saudi Arabia with Reference to Rich Natural Resource Countries.” He was assigned to lead KAPSARC's long-term sectoral oil demand forecast and outlook projects as a portfolio project manager. Through those projects, Dr. Raed, along with the rest of the project leads, was successful in developing forecasting models that forecast the long-term oil demand in different sectors (land transportation sector, maritime sector, aviation sector, petrochemical sector, residential/commercial building sector, agricultural sector, and power sector). Furthermore, Dr. Raed is a lead modeler of a project dedicated to forecasting the oil demand stemming from petrochemical feedstocks. He represented KAPSARC as a speaker at multiple conferences organized by the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) and workshops organized by the Office of the Economic and Development Affairs Commission (EDAC) of The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC). Dr. Raed was recently appointed by the Board of Trustees of Riyadh Economic Forum as a supervising member of a study titled “Maximizing the Economic Revenue from Natural Resources to Achieve Sustainable Development.” Dr. Raed worked in KAPSARC as a T20 Events and Logistics Leader. He has made signicant contribution by being the first Saudi to teach applied econometrics at the newly eatblished KAPSARC Academy to facilatiate one of their acceleration programs in collaboration with LUISS Business School. Apart of Dr. Raed ’s academic, research, and advisory work he was a key member of an organizational restructuring team to develop KAPSARC’s training and learning & development programs (TASAMI) to build human capital capacity.


  • Research Interests Oil Demand Modeling
  • Econometric Analysis
  • Economic Diversification
  • Economic Development
  • Designing Policies to Mitigate Climate Change.

Publications See all Raed Al-Mestneer’s publications

Aisha Al-Sarihi

Aisha Al-Sarihi

Former Research Associate Aisha’s research interests focus on the environment, energy policy and climate economics and policies. She obtained her Ph.D. at Imperial… Aisha’s research interests focus on the environment, energy policy and climate economics and policies. She obtained her Ph.D. at Imperial College's Centre for Environmental Policy. Her thesis focused on policies and challenges for renewable energy adoption in oil-producing countries. Following her Ph.D., Aisha pursued her postdoctoral research at the London School of Economics and Political Science's Middle East Centre, working on assessing the economic implications of climate change in the GCC. She also joined the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, studying the challenges and opportunities for aligning climate policies with economic diversification strategies in Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE. Before joining KAPSARC, Aisha worked at Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies as a visiting scholar.

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