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'UN report on Qatar per capita carbon emission unfair'

'UN report on Qatar per capita carbon emission unfair'

Hisham Aljundi
Two Qatari researchers have, through a scientific research conducted on carbon emissions per capita, disagreed with a UN annual report which says Qatar tops list in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.
The two petroleum engineers and researchers Nadya Abdulmomin al Awaianti and Mona Abdulla al Asmakh -- graduates from the Hamad Bin Khalifa University observed that while Qatar might be 'the world's highest producer of carbon emissions', the country is not among the top carbon consumers when production versus consumption systems are taken into account.
Awaianti said,"Qatar is unfairly perceived as being unconcerned about sustainability and climate change mitigations," adding that Qatar's environmental records have always been in news for negative reasons despite country's efforts towards reduction of GHGs emissions.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, Qatar is ranked as the highest per capita carbon emitter globally. However, Qatar is contributing to the reductions of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) by supplying the world with Liquid Natural Gas (LNG).
The main argument of the research was to discuss Qatar's CO2 emissions per capita compared to other reporting measures and examine the difference between using a consumption-based emissions accounting system versus a production-based one for Qatar.
The research is considered as the first scientific response to the statistics contained in the UN annual report which described Qatar as the top in per capita carbon emissions.
"The research, which began after the issuance of the UN report in 2011, was based on a single scale (the ratio of the local production compared to the population), despite the existence of four modules certified by the World Bank to measure carbon dioxide emissions in the world. Qatar has not ranked high globally according to three of them," Awaianti said.
She added,"Qatar is doing a lot towards sustainability to improve its image with many international initiatives. Qatar has a net zero flaring strategy as it has the largest supply of natural gas."
Her research partner Asmakh clarified that the accounting system which was carried out to produce the results and put Qatar in number one rank in carbon emissions per capita was not accurate or reasonable.
"Qatar is the largest producer of natural gas and among the highest producers of crude oil with a small population. So, the method used to classify it based on the amount of carbon produced would definitely make it number one, while most of the produced carbon is exported somewhere else in the world," she said.
Awaianti explained that UN claim is not reasonable since it classified Qatar as per production, despite the recognition of the four different measures.
"Qatar produces gas and exports it, resulting in a distribution of carbon emissions. The report notes that the population in Qatar inhales all the carbon emissions from the gas as it is the largest source of gas in the world, but that is not true," she said.
She believes the foreign media used the United Nations report to launch offensive campaigns against Qatar in an attempt to place a new charge and damage its image as hosts of the 2022 World Cup.
She said that the national and moral reasons that pushed her and her colleague to reveal the weaknesses in the report were the same.
"The main objective of the research is to prove that Qatar is not the world's highest carbon dioxide emitter and to analyse the complications and consequences of the UN's initial report on climate change in 2011," she said.
"We have prepared an approximate calculation for Qatar's carbon emissions using certified computational methods that take into account total energy production (oil and gas) and consumption of the local population" Asmakh said.
She added that as a result, the local production-based accounting system which the UN report was based on is unfair to Qatar because it exports 96 percent of its production to the different countries in the world, while the proportion of consumption of people to energy domestically does not exceed four percent of total energy produced.
The young scholar and Masters degree holder Asmakh added that using the accounting system based on consumption and recalculation using export and import would bring the ranking of Qatar from being the world's first individual-level carbon dioxide emissions to a low ranking.
The two researchers want to raise their thesis and research results at the international level with the aim to reconsider Qatar's status in the list of carbon consuming countries.
An article of the research is also to be published in the IEMA British magazine, Transform.
Alex Amato, head of Sustainability at Qatar Green Building Council, said that no accounting system is perfect and it is clear that the results would surely differ if the calculation was made under a different method.
"The trouble is that the consumption-based method is difficult to do and what the two researchers have done is an initial study - a quick but well-worked out study- to make things clearer," he said.
He also pointed out that there are more than 2.5 million people in Qatar and most of them are associated in construction mostly from South Asia and they live very modest carbon lives which the UN calculation doesn't reflect.


  • Sayd Fasil Bafaky May 12, 2018

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