Reinforcing their newfound ideals, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia announced for the first time that they will eventually make emissions pledges and work to diversify their economies. They also held regular workshops and set up huge exhibits to demonstrate their plans to invest in solar and other renewables in the coming decade.
Thani al-Zeyoudi, director of Energy and Climate Change of the UAE’s Foreign Ministry, said the deal was a change for the oil-rich country ‘‘to get full recognition’’ of its efforts to battle climate change.
‘‘I am sure that the region’s image, especially the Gulf region, has changed a lot,’’ said Mohamed Abdel Raouf, a research fellow in the Geneva-based Gulf Research Center. ‘‘It improved, in fact, from being just a rich oil and gas producing region that is blocking climate talks to a very positive one that cares about the future of the planet.’’