Thank you for this excellent article. The MENA region also has enormous solar and wind energy resources. "State of the art" desalination plants powered by renewable energy could help alleviate the water crisis in this region. Large-scale desalination could also support hydroponic or drip-irrigation agriculture.
For CO2 emissions reductions, commercially available technologies can convert CO2 into methanol (CH3OH). The methanol can be used to make dimethyl ether (DME). DME has a higher cetane rating (55-60) than conventional diesel fuel (45). Methanol can also be made into gasoline (Mobil process).