The Sultanate of Oman endorsed the concerns of the recently held UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt and supported the measures to fight the issues that affect the environment adversely.
The topic of global warming has been a major concern for years, but there is an extra urgency to address this issue, with countries worldwide battling heatwaves, extreme floods, and even wildfires.
At the recently held UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, nearly 200 countries struggled to outpace increasingly dire climate impacts in a world upended by war and economic turmoil.
Weather disasters have killed thousands, displaced millions, and caused billions in damages- massive flooding in Pakistan and Nigeria, deepening droughts in Africa and the western US, cyclones in the Caribbean, and unprecedented heat waves across three continents.
The focus of COP27 was to fight global changes by slashing greenhouse emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The Sultanate of Oman has endorsed coordinated measures in partnership with the world to reduce global warming to levels below 2 degrees Celsius, namely the endorsement of the Paris Agreement by 196 countries, which became effective November 4, 2016, at a time the world is set to reach the peak of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The Sultanate of Oman has taken major steps forward in cutting down carbon emissions by declaring a commitment to meet carbon neutrality in 2050 and establishing the Oman Sustainability Centre — based on the outputs of the Carbon Management Laboratory — and announcing the launch of the national strategy for an orderly transition to the carbon neutrality plan, besides launching the National Environmental Policy for Energy.
The Sultanate of Oman has announced the start of the pre-qualification phase for investors wishing to participate in the first round of investment opportunities in green hydrogen production projects through the platform of Hydrogen Oman (Hydrom).
The participating countries at COP27 have pledged to agree on further reduction of rates of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide emissions in a manner that keeps the rise in global heat within less than 2°C.
The effects of global warming are beyond imagination, including the Sultanate of Oman’s marine life. According to the National Centre for Research in the US, the physical properties of the water of the Arabian Sea have become warmer and more saline. Average sea temperatures in the summer have risen since 1960 by over two degrees Celsius at the surface and above one degree Celsius at a depth of 300m.
Average salinity at lower depths has been increasing at a rate of 0.1 parts per thousand per decade since 1960.
The climate change consequences have been serious for the Sultanate of Oman, regularly facing one or two tropical storms, sometimes even a cyclone, every year, leading to floods and damage to houses and vehicles.
Summers have been getting hotter, with temperatures consistently touching 45 degrees Celsius and above for days. With a vast coastline bordering the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, the Sultanate of Oman has been facing the wrath of tropical storms regularly since 2007.
Cyclone Gonu, which hit the country in 2007 and inflicted damage, was the first in several decades.
Tropical cyclones are not uncommon over the Arabian Sea. However, many of these storms rarely reach the coastal areas of Oman. Gonu was the first destructive tropical cyclone to affect Muscat after the 1890 cyclone.
The governorates of South Sharqiyah, Al Wusta, and Dhofar have been on the frontline in the battle against the low-pressure systems.
Advancements in weather forecasting have helped save human lives by activating emergency or disaster management mechanisms; immovable properties like houses, offices or strategic infrastructure like roads are still vulnerable to nature’s fury.
Weather experts have warned that evacuation of people or shifting of human habitation from the coastal areas may make sense under the circumstances due to increased frequencies of floods, but in the long term, it will create a demographic imbalance and pressure on infrastructure due to increased density.
Despite its dependence on revenues from oil, Oman has only gained from the measures to reduce carbon emissions and minimise the consequences of climate change and global warming.
Not limited to the Sultanate of Oman, GCC-EU experts recently addressed the debate around climate change, the challenges of energy efficiency in the building sector, and the required strategies, policies, and regulations to enable energy efficiency.
The experts put forward actionable solutions to tackle issues such as low energy efficiency, chronic dependence on fuel subsidies, and the active role that clean energy can play in targeting more sustainable methods for using energy.
The Central Bank of Oman has warned that risks associated with climate change pose challenges to the financial stability of the country. Climate change risks present severe concerns to the financial system posing micro and macroprudential risks. Hydrocarbon-dependent countries like the Sultanate of Oman are exposed to an additional challenge from the drive to reduce their carbon footprint. A large part of Oman’s GDP relies on the production and export of hydrocarbons which are a major source of greenhouse gases. “Therefore, besides the climate risks faced by all other countries, phasing out carbon emissions would entail a need for massive changes in the structure of the economy.
Assessment of climate risks remains a challenge because of the difficult-to-predict shocks and significant long-time horizon spanning over decades for modelling and analysis of transition risks.
According to the Observer, Wael Makarem, market strategist at a regional trading platform, said, “Over the longer term and to minimise exposure to future economic shocks, Oman could work on gradually reducing its dependence on oil and natural gas exports to limit risks that could derive from slowing demand and diversify toward other industries and opportunities.”
The Sultanate of Oman is working on a comprehensive national strategy and an operational plan for zero neutrality, in line with development objectives in various sectors that support balanced and resilient ecosystems to protect the environment and the sustainability of its natural resources.
Warming beyond that threshold, scientists warn, could push Earth toward an unlivable hothouse state. But current trends would see carbon pollution increase 10 per cent by the end of the decade and Earth’s surface heat up 2.8C, according to findings unveiled last week.
Source : OmanObserver