As Qatar works towards meeting its National Vision 2030, the country is collaborating with an increasing global network of partners to achieve its goals.
Chief among these partners, is the UK, home to Europe’s largest green tech community and a thriving renewable energy sector.
The UK and Qatar are increasingly discovering common ground between their respective industrial and energy strategy priorities. Clean growth and sustainability are both emerging as ambitious targets which our governments are trying to achieve and therefore an area where we must collaborate to move forward together.
Renewables, although a relatively recent entrant to the regional energy landscape, hold vast potential to cut fuel costs, reduce carbon emissions, conserve scarce water and create jobs.
Qatar’s Sustainability Strategy
Qatar remains the world’s largest producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). While gas will remain an important part of the energy mix during the transition, significant steps have been taken by Qatar as it responds to the challenge and becomes a part of the solution.
Qatar has now launched its new sustainability strategy which sets out a roadmap of how they will play a decisive role in helping reduce the impact of climate change, contributing to a more sustainable and prosperous future and aligning itself to the ever growing climate-conscious international community.
The country has established a 10-year, $70mn Qatar Carbonate and Carbon Storage Research Centre in collaboration with Imperial College London, which aims to advance research in the feasibility of carbon capture for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and storage of CO2 in local geological formations.
The project is funded by Qatar Petroleum, Shell and the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), as part of Qatar Foundation.
This is just one example of how the UK and Qatar are working together to meet ambitious climate change goals. The scope for more collaboration between the countries is vast as Qatar looks ahead to hosting the world’s most popular sporting event, The FIFA World Cup 2022 – the first to be held in the Middle East and set to be “the greenest World Cup ever”, with a fully carbon-neutral remit by offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation, air pollution and water consumption.
Solar power will be used to light the stadiums and sustainable air conditioning systems will be used throughout, ensuring comfortable, but eco-friendly viewing for the fans. Plans are also in the offing to manufacture over 1,000 electric buses ahead of the mega event.
technology in Qatar
UK businesses are well placed to partner with Qatar to optimise the region’s vast domestic resources and support its debut FIFA World Cup. Several major British greentech businesses, across sectors such as efficient cooling, waste-to-energy, desalination and solar energy, are already on the ground or in active discussions to support Qatar enabling its sustainability goals.
The UK remains a world leader in ‘green tech’ – a catchall term for technology that drives clean energy production, particularly the use of technologies that create power through processes that are less harmful to the environment than fossil fuels.
In line with its global sustainability ambitions, the UK is set to host COP26, the UN climate change conference, in November 2021.
The UK is leading from the front as the first industrialised economy to make a legally binding commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050.
The green tech sector employs more than 750,000 people. In 2019, it invested over £14bn in the UK and generated £95bn in value-added economic activity.
Close collaboration between energy sectors and the UK’s academic and research communities is continually bringing new technologies to market – supported by world-class education, research and technology transfer centres.
As Qatar continues the march towards its ambitious sustainable vision, its ongoing partnership with the UK holds great potential for mutual greentech knowledge sharing and implementation.
With a strong heritage of innovation and technology investment, UK companies are set to continue to play an important role in shaping and supporting Qatar’s low-carbon future.
The writer is DIT Country Director, Qatar, British embassy Doha