The International Relations of the Green Economy in the Gulf – Lessons from the UAE’s State-led Energy Transition

In this study, Mari Luomi examines how the resource-rich GCC countries are positioning themselves in the international relations of the green economy, focusing on the UAE’s state-led efforts to acquire the means of implementation for a national green energy transition. The study addresses four questions: What strategies, external relations, and engagements have the UAE and other GCC states developed over recent years that support a transition to a green energy economy? How are these engagements providing the means of implementation for a green economy transition? Are the national policy frameworks aligned with such a transition? What lessons can be drawn from the UAE’s experience by the other GCC states?

The study concludes that, as the case of the UAE demonstrates, there are multiple ways in which the GCC states can actively employ their financial resources through external engagements to support a broader national green economy vision. However, enabling environments which are crucial for directing investments into green activities, jobs and infrastructure, are only beginning to emerge, and a lot of work still remains to be done in all six states, particularly in the areas of energy subsidy reform and sustainable job creation in productive sectors. The study closes with a number of related observations and recommendations.

Executive Summary

By: Mari Luomi