After all of the attempts to break ties with the American dollar by the Saudis, including not indexing to US inflation rates back in 2007 and now attempting to abandon all dollar/oil links, the Saudis are now looking for a handout:
Saudi Arabia has led a quiet campaign during these and other negotiations — demanding behind closed doors that oil-producing nations get special financial assistance if a new climate pact calls for substantial reductions in the use of fossil fuels.
The head of the Saudi delegation Mohammad S. Al Sabban dismissed the IEA figures as “biased” and said OPEC’s own calculations showed that Saudi Arabia would lose $19 billion a year starting in 2012 under a new climate pact. The region would lose much more, he said.
“We are among the economically vulnerable countries,” [Mohammad S.] Al Sabban told The Associated Press on the sidelines of the talks ahead of negotiations in Copenhagen in December for a treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
Hey, it’s for your own good, Saudi Arabia. Climate change is real, and by real I mean we have to conduct more study.
Al Sabban accused Western nations of pursuing an agenda against oil producers, under the guise of protecting the planet.
Lie with an endangered panda and get fleas, Mr. Al-Sabban. You always have the option to walk out of these things, like the Westerners do every time one of your bretheren in the Middle East want to host another Holocaust-denial summit.
Isn’t sustainability a legitimate thing to raise in terms of an economy? The Saudis have been relying on oil exports propping up a large part of their economy for years, with up to 90% of their exporting revenue and nearly half of their total GDP as of last year, and this has not changed much from the 1970s despite a seven-fold plan to diversify their economy. Wikipedia shows their non-oil manufacturing is less than 10% of thir total GDP. Is America’s being “addicted to oil” (in the words of George W. Bush) merely making the diversification ineffective or just unattractive?
If the International Energy Agency caves and agrees to bailout the Saudis, it will just disincentivize them to attempt diversification now. It also causes other nations to seek out what should be their goal–new sources of energy. There is so much buzz about “clean” sources of energy that the consideration of the revolutionary future (fusion, safer sources of fission, superconductors, electric engines replacing the combustion engine) is being put on the back burner, which in keeping with sensitivity is powered by solar.
Innovation means you reward the winners and the losers go into the recycle bin of history. Thomas Edison didn’t get a cheque for his loss of delivering DC power to peoples’ homes; AC power is the standard because it’s proven safer and that’s it. If oil is to be treated as another obsolete source of energy and chemical products, c’est la vie! Or as the Arabs say, هذه هي الحياة. I think the meaning gets lost in the translation, but what doesn’t over there?