Ex-Qatari Energy Minister launches think tank
Al Attiyah Foundation, the region's first energy think tank, urges GCC governments to tackle soaring domestic energy consumption
Qatar's former Minister of Energy & Industry and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah formally launched Al Attiyah Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development, the first think tank of its kind in the Middle East, in Doha on Sunday.
At the launch ceremony, the Foundation also urged the GCC governments to tackle soaring domestic energy consumption trends.
The Al Attiyah Foundation, which hosted 400 distinguished national and international guests from industry, academia and government at the ceremony, will look to advise states on how to tackle such critical challenges as energy efficiency.
It will aim to deliver useful counsel and share knowledge by providing information, research and analysis on energy and sustainable development, primarily related to the Arabian Gulf region.
The Foundation ‘will also host foremost experts from around the world who have played an active role in the advancement of the international energy industry. Having previously served in some of the senior energy positions in government and industry, they shall thus bring to the table their proficiency, expertise and knowledge of the global energy industry’, it says in a statement.
"We want people to knock on our door with questions which we will aim to answer based on our vast experience," Al Attiyah said at the launch. "I would like to see The Foundation become the leading think tank in the region and one of the leading institutions in the world in the areas of energy and sustainable development," he said.
Along with Al Attiyah at the helm, the Foundation comprises a number of experts including Saad Al Kaabi, president and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, Dr. Ibrahim Ibrahim, Economic Advisor to the Emir of Qatar, Abdulaziz Al-Malki, Qatar's Ambassador to Italy; Nasser Al-Jaidah and Hamad Rashid Al-Mohannadi, both board members of Qatar Petroleum.
"As the rest of the world is gradually turning towards greater energy efficiency in economic terms, much of the GCC is going the other way, using ever more energy to produce a unit of economic growth and becoming less competitive in the process," Dr. Ibrahim told the audience of industry and government officials in his keynote speech.
"If these long-term consumption trends continue, the Gulf States are forecast to be just a few decades away from relinquishing their long-held position as global energy suppliers," he said.
In 1973, oil consumption in Arabia was less than one percent of global demand. Forty years later, the Gulf States, with just 0.5% of the world's population, consumed 5% of its oil.
Primary energy consumption in the past decade has grown more than twice as fast as the world average of 2.5% per year.
The Gulf's 2001 consumption of 220mn tonnes of oil equivalent nearly doubled by 2010 and is expected to nearly double again by 2020.