Weaning the world off hydrocarbons to fight climate change is this generation’s biggest challenge. It is a challenge that has pushed major OECD members to adopt far-reaching strategies, such as the EU Green Deal or the UK’s future ban on new gasoline-powered cars. Yet demand for oil and gas continues to increase, putting mainstream hydrocarbon-producing countries in the spotlight. This was exemplified last week Iraq’s Finance Minister Ali Allawi, called for oil producers to move into renewable energy. At first glance, this appears contradictory, with Iraq still funding new oil projects. However, looking at the overall regional picture this claim is less surprising. The Gulf is facing up to the stark possibility of an ‘end to oil’, forcing them to reassess the very basis of their economies. As a result, the first shoots of a Middle Eastern green energy arms race are sprouting, with Iraq’s declaration emblematic of this. […]