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Gulf countries are slowly implementing policies to curb runaway energy demand, but much remains to be done. Energy subsidies remain largely untouched.
Mideast Gulf countries have some of the world’s highest energy consumption figures, both in per capita terms and per unit of GDP (‘energy intensity’). The International Energy Agency (IEA), in its 2014 World Energy Outlook (WEO) released last week, says Middle Eastern primary energy intensity fell by almost 1.5% a year during 2010-13. Though this fall is welcome, it is lower than most other regions and comes on the back of a ‘world’s worst’ performance over the preceding five years: for 2008-10 Middle East energy intensity rose by almost 2%/year (see chart).
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