Saudi Arabia steadily raised gasoline prices per liter since 2015 to SAR 0.90, where the price continued to increase and reached SAR 2.33 in 2021. The prices have stayed constant and fixed at this rate since July 2021. The cap on gasoline prices and subsidized energy prices has had a negative effect on CO2 emissions and climate change. Saudi total energy consumption has stopped growing since 2015 and has slightly declined due to subsidy cuts and economic slowdown. However, the decreasing energy consumption has a small effect on CO2 emissions.
The country’s CO2 emissions decreased by 7.3% from 2015-2020. Seeing that petroleum production did not change much in the same time period, this decrease in emissions can be attributed to improvements in energy efficiency and the adoption of cleaner, renewable sources of energy. It will be difficult to continue this decrease without a serious throttling back of petroleum production.
The country has held its production of petroleum steady, its primary source of income, at about 11,000 Mb/day (Thousand Barrels/day) since 2015, to the current day. This tracks with Saudi Arabia’s OPEC strategy of increasing/decreasing oil production to stabilize the energy markets over the last few years. The fact that Saudi Arabia will not decrease its oil production means that Saudi Arabia’s emissions will likely remain high.
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Saudi Arabia Country Managers Abeer Abdulkareem and Amgad Ellaboudy