By Noimot Olayiwola/Staff Reporter
Qatar, which is reportedly having the world’s highest per capita carbon emission, is more confident than before and on its way to reduce emissions substantially, HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, president of the 18th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP18) and the 8th Congress of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, said yesterday.
According to a study conducted by the Britain-based environmental organisation Carboun, Qatar was found to have 55.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person, about 10 times the global average.
In the region, Qatar is followed by Kuwait, the UAE and Bahrain, which are ranked third, fourth and fifth in the world, the report found.
“I am more confident than before that Qatar is on the right track to reduce its emissions because we have started the process a long time ago and ensuring carbon footprint reduction is on top of our agenda in the oil and gas sector presently,” HE al-Attiyah noted while speaking at a press conference held on the sidelines of the Qatar Sustainability Expo, which was launched at the Doha Exhibition Center yesterday.
While insisting that all the figures making rounds about Qatar’s emissions are “misleading”, the official expressed more confidence that the country was ready to take decisive actions on curbing its emissions.
“Qatar is a small country and we can’t compare our emissions with other small countries such as Singapore, for instance, and say we have the biggest per capita carbon emission. I believe the figures are misleading,” he maintained.
However, the official admitted that the country’s emission rate was still high and noted the country had already initiated efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.
“We realise the huge impact carbon emissions have on the climate and our environment and we know that there is going to be serious problems if we don’t do anything to save the planet. So, I am confident that the country is now committed more than before,” he stated adding that the country only needed to implement its energy policy for quicker results.
While reacting to a questions on whether the world’s big emitters such as the US and China will ratify the second commitment of the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) executive secretary Christiana Figueres said: “The governments of the world have already decided that there will be a second commitment by January 2013. All that is left is for them to decide on signing and adopting its spirits. Right now, it is clear that some countries such as the US (which did not ratify the first commitment), Russia, Canada and Japan have said they will not be taking part in the protocol this time.”
She also said that just recently New Zealand had said it would not take part in the second commitment but would apply its mechanisms once it goes into force.
However, she said that countries like Australia, the European Union and Switzerland have all agreed to adopt the new Kyoto Protocol.
The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted on December 11, 1997, in Japan, and entered into force on February 16, 2005, ends on December 31 this year.