Download publication

Book/Special report

Towards EU-MENA Shared Prosperity

Endowed with half of the world’s known oil and gas reserves, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has become a cornerstone of the global energy architecture. This architecture is currently undergoing a structural transformation, prompted by two different forces: decarbonisation policies and low-carbon technology advancements. This book seeks to address the following research question: are MENA oil-exporting countries equipped to prosper in times of global decarbonisation?

By: , , , , and Date: August 17, 2017 Topic: Energy & Climate

This book was prepared in collaboration with OCP Policy Centre

Endowed with half of the world’s known oil and gas reserves, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region became – particularly during the second half of the twentieth century – a cornerstone of the global energy architecture (Yergin, 1991, 2011; Maugeri, 2006). This architecture is currently undergoing a structural transformation, prompted by two different forces: decarbonisation policies and technological developments.

The adoption and quick entry into force of the Paris Agreement (UNFCCC, 2015) marked a major step forward in global efforts to address global warming (IEA, 2016a). For the first time, developed and developing countries committed to act in order to limit global average temperature increase to well below 2°C, and to pursue efforts to further limit this to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This should reinforce strong decarbonisation measures already being undertaken in different parts of the world, such as in Europe.

Meanwhile, technological advancements have significantly increased the cost-competitiveness of low-carbon technologies such as solar and wind power generation, power storage technologies and electric vehicles (IEA, 2016b; IRENA, 2017). This has already started to reshape the global energy system, notably by giving a greater role to solar and wind in the power generation mix. Global energy outlooks (BP, 2017; EIA, 2017; IEA, 2016a) generally see these trends as continuing in the future. Some outlooks even see these trends further accelerating, leading to a peak in global oil demand in the 2020s (BNEF, 2016; Carbon Tracker, 2017; WEC, 2016).

By transforming the global energy architecture, international decarbonisation policies and technological advancements could have an impact on the world’s key oil and gas producing regions, such as the MENA.

Surprisingly, the energy literature presents no comprehensive analysis of the potential impact of the global energy transformation on this region. This paper seeks to fill this gap by investigating the following research question: are MENA oil-exporting countries equipped to prosper in times of global decarbonisation?

We begin with an analysis of the macroeconomic context of the MENA region, showing the persistent over-reliance of MENA oil exporters on the oil rent. The political economy factors standing behind the lack of economic diversification in these countries are then analysed, particularly through the analytical lens of the Rentier State Theory (RST).

By proposing a scenario-based analysis, we then illustrate the potential impact of global decarbonisation on MENA oil exporters. This allows us to illustrate the incompatibility of current MENA oil exporters’ macroeconomic models with a global decarbonisation pathway consistent with the Paris Agreement. Finally, we argue that MENA oil exporters should consider economic diversification as a structural pathway to be pursued in order to ensure their future economic and political stability, even in a decarbonising world.

View comments
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

Policy Contribution

A new strategy for European Union-Turkey energy cooperation

In a period of stress in the relationship between the European Union and Turkey, cooperation over energy could be a bright spot, because of strong mutual interests. Fields such as renewables, energy efficiency, nuclear energy and emissions trading could make a real impact on long-term energy, climate and environmental sustainability, and on overall macroeconomic and geopolitical stability.

By: Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: October 24, 2017
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

EU-Turkey energy and climate dialogues

This event is part of the joint Bruegel-IPC initiative European Neighbourhood Energy and Climate Dialogues. This is a closed door event, open only to Bruegel's members and a group of experts.

Speakers: Dirk Buschle, Ahmet Evin, Myriam Ferran, Philipp Godron, Daniel Grütjen, Sohbet Karbuz, Susanne Nies, Mehmet Oguctu, Megan Richards, John Roberts, Umit Sahin, Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: October 20, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

We need a broader, greener EU-Turkey energy partnership

Energy is a vital part of the EU’s increasingly strained relationship with Turkey. It’s also one of the areas where there is still a lot of potential to find positive synergies. However, the EU’s strategy is too focussed on oil and gas. We need a broader and more sustainable approach to EU-Turkey energy relations.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: October 19, 2017
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Fiscal aspects of the Energy Transition

Relative prices of different energy carriers are affected by a number of fiscal instruments. At this event, we will hold a discussion on, how fiscal instruments can be adjusted to better accommodate the energy transition.

Speakers: Jos Delbeke, Karen Pittel, Ian Parry, Gregor Pett and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: October 17, 2017
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Fostering energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa: what role for Europe?

Lack of energy access is a major challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa. How can Europe contribute to solving this issue?

Speakers: San Bilal, Laura Cozzi, Alexander Huurdeman, Lapo Pistelli and Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: October 5, 2017
Read about event

Past Event

Past Event

How can sustainable finance contribute to the Paris climate goals?

What is the role of sustainable finance in reaching the Paris Climate goals? What are the specific proposals towards this goal and which are the challenges facing the implementation of green finance?

Speakers: Peter Blom, Viktoria Dendrinou, Olivier Guersent, Catherine Howarth, Stewart James and Dirk Schoenmaker Topic: Energy & Climate, Finance & Financial Regulation Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: September 25, 2017
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

External Publication

The role of international institutions in fostering sub-Saharan Africa’s electrification

With a new commentary published by the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy, Simone Tagliapietra and Morgan Bazilian discuss the role of international institutions in bringing electricity to sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The authors offer a review of global financing initiatives for SSA’s electrification, and conclude that better coordination and information-sharing mechanisms to track the rapidly-changing landscape will be critical to achieve SSA energy access goals.

By: Simone Tagliapietra and Morgan Bazilian Topic: Energy & Climate Date: September 22, 2017
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

Reinforcing the EU energy industry transformation: stronger policies needed

The European energy system is being transformed by three major forces, decarbonisation, digitalisation and decentralisation. Decarbonisation is changing the European energy mix, while innovation in digital technologies is enabling disruptive change in the way energy systems are operated.

By: Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: September 21, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Trump and the Paris Agreement: better out than in

It would be better for international climate governance if Trump stays out of the Paris Agreement, rather than stays in with a new, weakened deal.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: September 18, 2017
Read about event

Past Event

Past Event

Bruegel Annual Meetings 2017

The Annual Meetings are Bruegel’s flagship event. They offer a mixture of large public debates and small private sessions about key issues in European and global economics. In a series of high-level discussions, Bruegel’s scholars, members and stakeholders will address the economic policy challenges facing Europe.

Speakers: Carlos Sallé Alonso, José Antonio Álvarez Álvarez, Agnès Bénassy-Quéré, Pervenche Béres, Matthias Buck, Grégory Claeys, Zsolt Darvas, Jean Luc Demarty, Maria Demertzis, Anna Ekström, Lowri Evans, Ferdinando Giugliano, Sandro Gozi, Peter Grünenfelder, Reiner Hoffmann, Levin Holle, Kate Kalutkiewicz, Steffen Kampeter, Peter Kažimír, Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Matti Maasikas, Steven Maijoor, Reza Moghadam, Nathalie Moll, James Murray, Johan Van Overtveldt, Julia Reinaud, André Sapir, Dirk Schoenmaker, Mateusz Szczurek, Marianne Thyssen, Jean-Claude Trichet, Reinhilde Veugelers, Nicolas Véron, Ida Wolden Bache, Liviu Voinea, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance, Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Square - Brussels Meeting Centre Date: September 7, 2017
Read article More on this topic More by this author

External Publication

The European Gas Markets

This book, co-edited by Bruegel's Research Fellow Simone Tagliapietra, explores in detail the challenges which the European gas markets currently face, and the opportunities they present. Bringing together some of the most prominent gas experts on Europe from both academia and industry, this edited volume provides a comprehensive analysis of the various economic, political and technological factors that interact in this sector.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: August 31, 2017
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

Low carbon technology exports: the race is still open

A country’s relative strength in exporting a certain product is likely to persist. But it is easier to gain a comparative advantage in exporting low carbon products. When it comes to R+D, strength in a certain technological field is much less linked to past specialisation. This also holds for low carbon technologies. Finally, our preliminary findings are consistent with the view that R+D can help a country specialise in clean technology exports. However, we are not yet able to show that policy action supporting R+D in clean technologies is a sensible way to develop a comparative export advantage in these sectors.

By: Georg Zachmann and Enrico Nano Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: August 24, 2017
Load more posts