Environmental sustainability for Qatar’s industries

doha qatar
Doha, Qatar. © StellarD - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

In recent times, with environmental sustainability gaining wide prominence in Qatar, state-owned and private companies are increasingly taking proactive measures to minimize their carbon footprints. Qatar, a major exporter of fossil fuels and one of the wealthiest countries in the world, is aware of its responsibilities of reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions and develop ways to mitigate the effects of climate change.

As a result of the state’s initiatives, many companies are sinking in sizable quantities of funds to modernize their old turbines, furnaces and boilers and thereby minimizing GHG and non-GHG emissions as well as wastewater discharges.

Thanks to Qatar setting national targets for emissions, companies are pushed to adopt the best available technologies, on par with the global environmental standards. Under a national initiative, Qatar’s oil and gas companies are allocating huge investments for these upgrades and are monitoring their yearly carbon footprint for better environmental sustainability.

This initiative has already had a direct benefit: significant flaring reductions have resulted in massive savings of natural gas and emissions.

In order to further capitalize on its green initiatives, it would benefit the government if it were to develop a comprehensive climate policy framework addressing all industry sectors but focusing mainly on energy-intensive industries.

Since Qatar’s industrial sector is the growth engine for its economy, it is only natural that the industrial sector form the core of its strategic comprehensive roadmap for a broader climate policy framework, such as an “Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy”.

Apart from finding ways to decarbonising the industry, it would benefit Qatar if its framework were to set ambitious goals to minimize short term and long term GHG emissions and thereby bring about improved environmental sustainability.

Qatar’s framework will also have to factor in the potential structural changes in global markets, the deployment of disruptive technologies and their dynamics, domestic policies that lend support to decarbonization as well as domestic institutional reforms.

For the framework to fruition, it will have to be backed by legislative instruments which should potentially cap emissions, internalize social and environmental costs and include a tax on the industrial sector for their emissions.

All of these measures mirrors Qatar’s initiatives in its Natural Resource Management Strategy.

In order to ensure compliance, a joint decree by Qatar’s Ministry of Energy and Industry (MoEI) and Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) for mandatory monitoring of GHG and non-GHG pollution could be hugely beneficial if it were to be added to the framework.

In order for these disclosures to work, they will have to have accountability and transparency.

This disclosure framework could be of significant benefit since it can be used to document emission trends and thereby be instrumental in creating new emission trends, policies, regulations, provide clarity for opportunities for investments, create energy management initiatives from which other companies could learn best practices for environmental sustainability.