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Environmental Issues in Qatar

In 2005, Qatar had the highest per-capita carbon dioxide emissions, at 55.5 metric tons per person. This is almost double the next highest per-capita emitting country, which is Kuwait at 30.7 metric tons (2005) and they are three times those of the United States. By 2007, Qatar’s emission rate increased to 69 tons per person per year. Qatar had the highest per-capita carbon dioxide emissions for the past 18 years. These emissions are largely due to high rates of energy use in Qatar. Major uses of energy in Qatar include air conditioning, natural gas processing, water desalination and electricity production. Between 1995 and 2011 the electricity generating capacity of Qatar will have increased to six times the previous level. The fact that Qataris do not have to pay for either their water or electricity supplies is thought to contribute to their high rate of energy use. Being a desert state, they are also one of the highest consumers of water per capita per day, using around 400 litres.

The Supreme Council for the Environment & Natural Reserves (SCENR) was set up in 2000 with the purpose of protecting the environment, conserving endangered species of wildlife, and protecting their natural habitats. With the continuing population growth and the country’s massive investment in hydrocarbon industries, Qatar’s environment is clearly under threat. These threats include spillage of oil, gas and hazardous chemicals, and production facilities damaging the marine environment. However, while Qatar currently has no national parks or protected areas officially designated for nature conservation, the SCENR and the gas and oil companies do have programmes in place to monitor the local environment and minimise their impact on it. Qatar Petroleum has initiated schemes to conserve Qatar’s mangroves and protect the sea turtle population.





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