Research InterestsEnvironment, Energy Policy, Climate Economics and Policies
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.
Climate policies are tightening in an effort to curb carbon dioxide emissions. As a result, global oil demand may peak and gradually decline, causing oil prices to fall. A structural fall in oil prices may have serious implications for Middle Eastern oil exporters. Many studies attempt to estimate the economic implications of climate change response measures for oil exporting countries. However, they have not reached a consensus regarding the magnitude of these implications.
In July 2021, Oman submitted its second nationally determined contribution to the Paris Agreement on climate change (NDC). In the NDC, Oman pledges to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 7% relative to a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario by 2030. Oman’s first NDC, from 2015, had contained a 2% greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target, based on a different BAU scenario.
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.