Oliver McPherson-Smith is a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Oxford. His research explores the politics of the private sector and economic policy in Africa and the Middle East. He previously received a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree with honors in land economy from the University of Cambridge.
What does the global transition to renewable energy mean for the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf? This essay outlines the political rationale, and consequences, of the Gulf monarchies’ aggressive efforts to scale up their renewable power industries. Driven by political survival, these neighboring states are increasingly being drawn into regional economic rivalries and civilian nuclear development. For American foreign policy makers, this high-stakes transition poses a raft of unique challenges.