Saudi Arabia wants help to develop their significant solar power potential. Photo: Peter via flickr
On the sidelines of recent climate change talks in Bonn, Germany, Saudi Arabia expressed concern that any major global shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy would threaten its economic survival, Reuters reports. Calling itself one of the most vulnerable countries economically, it said that it wants support for developing alternative sources of energy, specifically developing its vast solar power potential:
[Climate change] is a matter of survival for us, also. [...] Saudi Arabia has not done that much yet to diversify.
We have a lot of sun, a lot of land. We can export solar power to our neighbors on a very large scale and that is our strategic objective to diversify our economy; it will be huge.
We need the industrialized countries to assist us through direct investment, transfer of technologies.
Transfer of technology and investment is one thing, but the idea that Saudi Arabia classifies itself in the same tier of countries, such as Bangladesh, the Maldives, any of the Pacific Island nations, or countless places in Africa, which could well be thrown into environmental turmoil and have far, far less domestic capacity to deal with it seems utterly ludicrous to me.
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