Climate Change Discourse in the GCC: Reconciling a Green Shift and Popular Legitimacy in Kuwait

A seminar with Dr. Jon Nordenson, University of Oslo.

Free admission and open to all.

Photo: UiO

Kuwait – and the other GCC countries - face the double challenge of potentially destabilising effects of climate change as well as a changing international energy market in favour of renewables that may threaten the foundation of the oil-based economies dominating the region. Both these challenges point to the need for a transition towards more renewable energy sources and not least more sustainable patterns of energy consumption – a transition that will be demanding for state and society alike. A successful green shift depends on a certain level of popular support or acceptance, yet it has proven difficult for the Kuwaiti government to gain support for their proposed solutions, and to reconcile the necessary changes with the existing relationship between state and society. This paper explores these challenges by studying public discourse concerning two contentious issues that are at the heart of the government’s economic reforms and of Kuwait’s planned efforts to cut GHG-emissions, namely fuel subsidy reform, and water and electricity conservation.

Jon Nordenson is a postdoc-fellow within the field of environmental humanities, and take part in the project “GreenMENA: Climate Change and Energy Transition in the Middle East”. His research focus on how issues pertaining to climate change and the green shift are treated in public discourse in the Middle East and North Africa region. Previously, he has focused on online and offline activism in the MENA region; the relationship between activism, public discourse, and democratization; and language use online in the Arabic speaking countries.

If you have any questions concerning the seminar, please contact our CIMS coordinator, Alexandra H. Koritzinsky, either by email:, or at: (+47) 957 21 103.

Published Feb. 5, 2019 2:24 PM - Last modified May 11, 2022 10:06 PM