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WIREs Clim Change
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Ecological modernization and responses for a low‐carbon future in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries

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Low‐carbon development is a challenging endeavor for many fossil fuels exporting nations around the world, and is especially important in light of the recent Paris Agreement on climate change. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have been adopting innovations and policies in order to diversify their economies and decrease environmental degradation. After decades of high demographic and economic growth, balancing ecological concerns and the need for more dynamic growth have now become cornerstones of those countries' national, urban, and infrastructure planning strategies. This review article introduces the ecological modernization in the GCC region through innovations and reforms. Such a pathway might be a viable model for other oil‐ and gas‐rich economies. The review outlines the current model in the GCC region for achieving a low‐carbon future through interventions in the built environment, deployment of renewables, technological investments, and gradual integration in knowledge‐intensive global industries. On the other hand, the review points to mixed results with regards to megaprojects and the still existing barriers to adoption of renewables. The obstacles in addressing large environmental footprints and fossil fuel dependency are evaluated. Overall, modernization policies in the Gulf region are still emerging, are rather supply‐side focused, and are implicitly driven by the idea of technological primacy. At the same time, in an effort to develop local capacities, policymakers seek to promote comparatively high‐potential sectors and maintain the region's global image as a crossroads of trade and modernity.

This article is categorized under:

  • The Carbon Economy and Climate Mitigation > Decarbonizing Energy and/or Reducing Demand
  • Trans‐Disciplinary Perspectives > Regional Reviews

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The Carbon Economy and Climate Mitigation > Decarbonizing Energy and/or Reducing Demand
Trans-Disciplinary Perspectives > Regional Reviews

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