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An energy transition in GCC

An energy transition for the Arab oil producers of the GCC — how real, how likely and can we get there?

This interactive discussion of the Brussels Energy Club was a special session in association with the NGO Access for Women in Energy

7 May 2018, 4 - 8 PM CET

TUSIAD Avenue des Gaulois 13, Brussels 1040

In our time of early in the 21st Century, Europe often presents itself as the champion of the energy transition. While many political voices in Europe have long called for the need to decarbonise the energy supply in wake of expanding momentum in the climate change debate, Brussels is increasingly seeking to sell the energy transition to stakeholders world-wide. Whether other countries are taking the lead from Europe's efforts to export the concept of transition to lower carbon economies is debatable, however. Important regions of the world in the sphere of both energy consumption and production at the global level are demonstrating a mixed record with respect to the policies and practices they are adopting in order to reduce emissions and promote decarbonisation more broadly.

That said, there does appear to be strong traction being made in the quest to embrace renewable energy sources, reduce reliance on fossil fuel production and promote more sustainable, far reaching forms of development amongst the oil producing Arab countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Arab oil producers such as the United Arab Emirates for example, where oil production has formed the mainstay of the economy for several decades, are building carbon free cities and hosting some of the world"s largest forums on renewable energy. At the same time their policy makers are increasingly involved in debates about energy efficiency, diversification and non-conventional energy sources.

Has the energy transition reached the GCC and are Arab oil producers increasingly on the same page as the EU when it comes to a sustainable energy future?  A comprehensive evaluation of this intriguing question awaited participants at the next BREC meeting on May 7, when Dr Carole Nakhle visited Brussels in order to offer some answers. Indeed, while diversification and efficient use of energy makes sense to most of us, putting such strategies into practice is not always easy when economies have become so conditioned on producing conventional energy from fossil fuels. Many factors will impact upon the type of energy mix that we will see in GCC countries in years to come, including pricing, investment, demand side technologies as well as geopolitical factors. That said, BREC believes that we have room for optimism in this regard.

Program May 7, 2018: 16.00 — 20.00:

  • Setting out the debate by Dr Marat Terterov, Initiator and Founder, Brussels Energy Club,

  • Presentation by Dr Carole Nakhle starting at 16.30

  • Roundtable discussion with meeting participants (NB: the Chatham House Rule will apply).

  • Our traditional networking reception with gala buffet will follow the main discussions



Founder and CEO, Crystol Energy, London

Director, Access for Women in Energy (NGO)




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