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Qatar's CO2 Emissions - Research Paper Example

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Qatar has achieved remarkable economic growth over the years by capitalizing on its natural resources of oil and gas. While it boasts of being one of the richest and developed countries of the world, it also has the highest per capita carbon footprint owing to its use of fossil fuels. Its per capita CO2 emissions are the highest in the world and are three times that of the US (Pearce). …
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Qatars CO2 Emissions
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Download file to see previous pages Its per capita CO2 emissions are the highest in the world and are three times that of the US (Pearce). Although its emissions have multiplied four fold since 1990, the country is not penalized for it, as it is classified as a developing country, thereby escaping the need to set emission targets as per the Kyoto Protocol (Pearce). Considering the global drive to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment, Qatar has begun taking initiatives to keep its share of the global carbon emissions and greenhouse gases in check. The urgency to introduce measures to reduce its carbon footprint came to global notice after the UNDP Human Development Report of 2007 identified it as being the highest contributor to global carbon emissions with per capita CO2 emissions being 79.3 tones/capita (“Combating Qatar's CO2 emissions, Carbon World 2009 addresses reduction”). Effect of CO2 Emissions and Green House Gases (GHG) on the Environment Carbon dioxide and other GHGs such as sulphur dioxide, methane and nitrogen oxides liberated upon burning fossil fuels have massive negative effects on the environment. These gases upon accumulation over the earth cause climatic changes due to global warming, which in turn affect other ecological features of the planet. CO2 and GHGs allow the sun’s heat to reach the earth’s surface; however, they do not allow the infrared light or heat emitted by the earth’s surface from leaving (Williams 6). This process results in the accumulation of heat on earth, much like what happens in a greenhouse. The trapping of heat results in global warming which in turn causes massive alterations in global climates. These climatic changes affect forests, vegetation, agriculture, and rainfall, apart from causing a rise in sea level by melting the polar ice sheets (ReVelle and ReVelle 376). Such changes adversely affect all life forms on earth. However, as Williams points out, the process that is actually occurring is more complex than greenhouse effect and global warming (6). He reasons that the earth is not a perfect sphere and has irregular features on its surface such as mountain ranges, forests, oceans, polar ice caps, etc. Not two regions display the same response to excess CO2 ­and GHGs in the environment. Therefore, as Williams argues, “future climate change is regional, not global” (6). High CO2 emissions lead to adverse effects on the climate, which influences not only agriculture and water levels, but also causes water stress and water insecurity, climatic disasters, adverse effects on human health, and even negative effects on biodiversity and ecosystem (GSDP 17). Considering the complex association between the climate, the environment and greenhouse gas emissions, it is understood that controlling and monitoring the carbon and ecological footprint of manmade processes is an indispensable requirement. Qatar is the Highest Country per Capita in CO2 Emissions As already stated, Qatar’s per capita CO2 emissions are the highest in the world. The main reason for Qatar’s high CO2 emissions is its extremely high use of energy (Pearce). Qatar has large industries for the extraction and processing of its fossil fuel reserves (GSDP 104). These industries themselves have high energy consumption. Qatar is the largest producer of liquefied natural gas and exports a huge amount of its gas reserves to Europe and North America (Pearce). While liquefied natural gas is a clean fuel, its extraction and liquefaction is a very high energy consuming process and this contributes to the country’s already high carbon footprint. It can thus be said that while the country produces clean fuel that helps other countries meet ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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