Carboun, an intiative to promote conservation and sustainable development in the Middle East, has published an excellent new visual guide to energy use and carbon emissions in the region. The guide includes the Arab world’s share of carbon emissions, and those of individual States in the region, as well as trends in emissions. Moreover, it examines the divide between “Resource Rich” countries in the region, many of which have extremely high per capita greenhouse gas emissions (including the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th highest levels of per capita emissions), with Resource Poor countries, most of whom have extremely low emissions. The graphic also seeks to isolate the reasons for the substantial divide between countries in the region in this context.
The infographic is a striking reminder to students that it’s overly simplistic to portray the world as one in which only Northern States are profligate producers of emissions. It could stimulate some interesting discussion about whether Southern countries with egregiously high per capita emissions should be required to take on emissions reduction commitments. It would also be a good opportunity to discuss the equity of UNFCCC’ Art. 4(8)(h), which mandates special concern for “countries whose economies are highly dependent on income generated from the production, processing and export, and/or on consumption of fossil fuels and associated energy-intensive products.”