“Climate change is not hysteria – it's a fact” – Leonardo DiCaprio
As the world stands at a climate crossroads, it is powerful yet humbling to think that today's actions will decide what tomorrow will look like for generations to come. Climate change knows no boundaries. That is why steps need to transcend borders as it is perfectly exemplified in regions where countries are joining the forces to combat global warming.
Kuwait's per capita energy consumption is amongst the highest in the world. The lack of robust energy efficiency regulations and pricing policies encouraging wasteful energy consumption caused an average of 5% growth in electricity consumption between 2000 and 2015.
Despite the extreme climate during part of the year, Kuwait still lags behind other nations to implement systems that would reduce energy consumption. Air conditioning services account for 70% of the residential electricity demand.
Even though entities such as Kuwait Green Building Council try to promote and assist organizations in their transition to LEED-certified greener buildings, government subsidies lead to overconsumption and a misallocation of energy resources. It disincentivizes the organization to invest in a more efficient system, often expensive and with very low ROI. Energy subsidies were estimated to be close to 8% of GDP in 2016 mentioned by KEO in its 2019 report.
On another front, water contamination is another problem Kuwait is trying to tackle. 90% of the water consumed by people in the country is purified and desalinated in plants across the Emirate.
he fishery is also a significant food resource, and preserving the species is crucial. The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) has been very active on that front. They have been providing consultancy for environmental entities in the country and monitoring the water's contamination and acidity levels. KISR has signed over 100 international agreements with highly regarded research and academic institutions. Csiro Lab, a reputable Australian lab specialized in energy specializing water, and the atmosphere is one, the partners. Furthermore, KISR is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This has allowed them to share knowledge and have the means to measure the radiation and air pollution levels that could harm the local water fauna.
Being aware of these challenges is fundamental for Kuwait's future, and private companies must take steps towards more responsible energy consumption and environment preservation.