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Inside the Saudi Strategy to Keep the World Hooked on Oil

The kingdom is working to keep fossil fuels at the center of the world economy for decades to come by lobbying, funding research and using its diplomatic muscle to obstruct climate action.

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by Anonymousreply 5November 23, 2022 7:35 PM

Shimmering in the desert is a futuristic research center with an urgent mission: Make Saudi Arabia’s oil-based economy greener, and quickly. The goal is to rapidly build more solar panels and expand electric-car use so the kingdom eventually burns far less oil.

But Saudi Arabia has a far different vision for the rest of the world. A major reason it wants to burn less oil at home is to free up even more to sell abroad. It’s just one aspect of the kingdom’s aggressive long-term strategy to keep the world hooked on oil for decades to come and remain the biggest supplier as rivals slip away.

In recent days, Saudi representatives pushed at the United Nations global climate summit in Egypt to block a call for the world to burn less oil, according to two people present at the meeting, saying that the summit’s final statement “should not mention fossil fuels.” The effort prevailed: After objections from Saudi Arabia and a few other oil producers, the statement failed to include a call for nations to phase out fossil fuels.

The kingdom’s plan for keeping oil at the center of the global economy is playing out around the world in Saudi financial and diplomatic activities, as well as in the realms of research, technology and even education. It is a strategy at odds with the scientific consensus that the world must swiftly move away from fossil fuels, including oil and gas, to avoid the worst consequences of global warming. The dissonance cuts to the heart of the Saudi kingdom. The government-controlled oil company, Saudi Aramco, already produces one out of every 10 of the world’s barrels of oil and envisions a world where it will be selling even more. Yet climate change and rising temperatures are already threatening life in the desert kingdom like few other places in the world.

by Anonymousreply 1November 22, 2022 12:33 AM

They're pure evil.

by Anonymousreply 2November 22, 2022 3:08 AM

We could have been off oil and on biodiesel 20 years ago but the big oil companies killed it. Unlike electric cars, Bio diesel needs no modification to diesel engines, burns clean and is fully renewable through agriculture.

by Anonymousreply 3November 22, 2022 3:17 AM

It's the one thing they've got, isn't it?

by Anonymousreply 4November 22, 2022 3:46 AM

We could be off oil in 10 years if they upgraded the power grid, put huge solar farms i the desert and south, wind power generators on the west and south coasts, and invested in agro biodiesel. A single home in Florida with solar panels and a powerwall/battery can make enough electricity to power the house and sell extra back to the electric company, but Florida makes it so hard to get solar panels, meanwhile, Disney in Florida has a solar farm providing up to 40% of their power. Almost half of their power is free.

by Anonymousreply 5November 23, 2022 7:35 PM
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