Since the 1930s, the Arab Gulf states have been defined by their hydrocarbon wealth, which flows from the nearly one-third of proven world crude oil reserves and about one-fifth of world natural gas reserves in their region. Oil and gas export revenues have played a crucial role in shaping the Arab Gulf states’ political economies, which have strongly revolved around centralized government control. The central government generates the hydrocarbon wealth and the remainder of society is engaged in the distribution and utilization of the wealth created. Consensual legitimacy is the basis for government survival, with low taxation and high energy subsidies as part of political compromise. As such, any change or pressure to the energy regime can create economic and political instability. This factor is critical when it comes to addressing the impacts of climate change in the Arab Gulf states—especially when the changes involve constraints on fossil fuels.