Baseline forecasts of carbon dioxide emissions for Saudi Arabia using the structural time series model and autometrics

Anwar A. Gasim, Lester C. Hunt, Jeyhun I. Mikzayilov

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


As a party to the Paris Agreement, Saudi Arabia submitted a baseline emissions reduction target as part of its nationally determined contribution. The baseline target rests on the development of a baseline emissions scenario. This is a counterfactual scenario that shows how emissions would evolve without any further efforts to reduce emissions. Saudi Arabia’s quantitative baseline scenario is not yet publicly available.

We use two different econometric methods within a univariate framework to generate baseline emissions forecasts for Saudi Arabia. We extend current drivers, trends and policies into the future without making assumptions about certain factors, such as economic growth, in the coming decades. Using two different methods provides a robustness check, as each method has strengths and weaknesses.

The two methods’ baseline projections of Saudi Arabia’s total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are consistent. Averaged together, they suggest that Saudi Arabia’s total CO2 emissions will increase from 540 million tonnes (Mt) in 2019 to 651 Mt by 2030. These emissions will rise to 944 Mt by 2060. Our projections are based on the assumption that current trends, drivers and policies in 2019 are extended into the future. In other words, we assume that no further policies to curb emissions are undertaken. The confidence intervals for the 2030 projections are narrow, whereas those for the 2060 projections. are very wide. This result reflects the high amount of uncertainty associated with long-term projections. targets that might be beyond the reach of current technologies. However, technological advancements could make this ambition achievable by 2040 or 2050.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherKing Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2023

Publication series

NameKAPSARC Discussion Paper
PublisherKing Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center

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