ENERGY | Al-Attiyah Foundation Urges Subsidy Reforms in First Research Report
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ENERGY | Al-Attiyah Foundation Urges Subsidy Reforms in First Research Report

By Gulf Intelligence

"The Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development Urges Gulf States to Cut Domestic Energy Consumption or Risk Losing Critical Export Revenue"

ENERGY | Al-Attiyah Foundation Urges Subsidy Reforms in First Research Report

Doha, Qatar – The Gulf States should tackle soaring domestic energy consumption trends or risk losing valuable export revenues that accounts for up to 90% of government revenues, the Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development said in its inaugural research report published in Doha today. 
“Reversing the trend in domestic energy consumption in the GCC: Consequences of success and failure?” is the title of the report by the Al-Attiyah Foundation, the first think tank of its kind in the Middle East, and it highlights that Energy is sold more cheaply in the Gulf than almost anywhere else in the world. Prices that appeared munificent in the 1970s have remained constant – or even been reduced, in a few cases – despite the eroding effects of income and inflation. Energy prices have thus fallen dramatically in real terms, growing so cheap relative to income that consumption decisions in the Gulf have become an afterthought.

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 220 million tons of oil equivalent nearly doubled by 2010 and is expected to nearly double again by 2020. 
”The Gulf countries have to rethink the generous subsidies they have, they cannot afford them anymore and will have to look at alternatives,” said H.E. Al Attiyah, Qatar’s former Minister of Energy & Industry and Deputy Prime Minister. “They have to reduce subsidies and prepare people to accept that change. Young, educated people will be instrumental to that change,” he said.

The Al Attiyah Foundation, which hosted 400 distinguished national and international guests from industry, academia and government at a launch ceremony on Sunday, 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’s inaugural report promotes the benefits of success from subsidy reforms: the portions of national budgets that underwrite subsidies represent a diversion of public funds and national resources that could be used to generate greater social benefit. In this sense reformed prices that make energy products more expensive would raise additional revenues for the state, while inducing consumers to adopt habits and technologies that increase conservation and benefit the environment – both locally and globally. This, in turn, would reduce state spending and preserve resources for export.

The Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah Foundation For Energy and Sustainable Development  Foundation was established in 2015 with the aim to preserve the legacy of over 40 years’ service to the State of Qatar, chiefly in the oil and gas Industry, and to promote the ongoing work of its founder, His Excellency Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah.

The vision of the Foundation is to 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. The Foundation will aim to give advice and share knowledge by:
  • Providing information, research and analysis on Energy and Sustainable Development, primarily related to the Arabian Gulf region.
  • Running joint educational programs with Qatar-based educational establishments.
  • Providing relevant publications, papers and special reports to its members.
  • Participating in and organizing events (Conferences, Symposia and Seminars) related to Energy and Sustainable Development.

The Foundation, founded in the State of Qatar, is a “Not-for-Profit” organization

The Foundation Board of Trustees:
  • Chairman                    H.E. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah 
  •  Vice Chairman           H.E. Dr. Ibrahim B. Al-Ibrahim (Current Board member of QP)
  •  Board Member           H.E. Abdulaziz Ahmed Al-Malki (Qatar Ambassador to Rome)
  •  Board Member           Hamad Rashid Al-Mohannadi (Current Board member of QP)
  •  Board Member           Nasser Khalil Al-Jaidah (Current Board member of QP)
  •  Board Member           Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi (President & CEO of QP)
  • Foundation MD          Reda Ibrahim Ali

A Brief Introduction of H.E. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah

H.E Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah
H.E. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Born in Qatar in 1952, H.E. Al Attiyah has some 40 years of experience in the energy industry and has served in a variety of senior leadership positions within the government of Qatar. In 1992, H.E. Al Attiyah was appointed Minister of Energy & Industry and Chairman and Managing Director of Qatar Petroleum, before being entrusted with the additional responsibility of Second Deputy Prime Minister in 2003. Four years later, H.E. was elevated to Deputy Prime Minister, and in 2011 was appointed Chief of the Amiri Diwan. H.E. Al Attiyah has also served as Chairman of Qatar’s Planning Commission, and was elected as Chairman of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in 2006; and the President of 18th Session of UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP18/CMP8) Doha-2012. During his illustrious career, Al Attiyah has been bestowed a number of awards and honours including the Grand Cross in the Order of the Orange Nassau conferred by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Kingdom of Netherlands, and the Grand Cordon Order of the Rising Sun awarded by His Imperial Majesty Emperor of Japan in recognition of his contribution in promoting bilateral relations between Qatar and Japan. In December 20th 2011, HE Al Attiyah was also conferred the Necklace of Independence award by HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of the state of Qatar, for his salutary contribution in towards Qatar’s commitment to transparency in business and governance and for his efforts towards the progress of the national economy.

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Image Attribute: Doha Skyline, Qatar / Photography by Haakon S Krohn / Source: Wikimedia Commons