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The chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has urged the oil-producing Gulf States to increase research to prepare for climate change and to mitigate its effects.

Writing in Araa – Gulf Views magazine on 12 August, Rajendra Pachauri said the major oil producers should carry out research and development to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases that come from using oil.

The transport sector would be an obvious target for such research, he suggested.

Pachauri said the region needs to "take a fresh look at the scientific assessment of climate change" and warned that they need to incorporate measures to deal with the effects of climate change into their national policies.

"It would be particularly useful if the countries of the region intensify research and development related to all aspects of climate change, so that knowledge and awareness can be created on actions that need to be taken in these societies," wrote Pachauri.

"What is mistakenly seen as a threat by some could be converted into an opportunity for these countries, particularly in devising technology solutions that would support the fulfilment of their own aspirations and widespread benefits to the world," he wrote.

Pachauri told SciDev.Net that the Gulf States could take steps including countering the threat of rising sea levels and considering changes in agricultural practices and the range of crops they grow.

He pointed out that rising temperatures would increase demands for water in the arid region.

The Gulf States have already started to plan, develop and use alternatives to fossil fuels such as wind, solar and bio-energy. Last year, for instance, the United Arab Emirates opened the Arabian Peninsula's first wind power plant (see Gulf's first wind power plant is opened).

Araa – Gulf Views magazine is published by the Gulf Research Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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