Saudi Arabia Sets Course for Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2060
10:18 GMT 23.10.2021 (Updated: 10:33 GMT 23.10.2021)
The Gulf nation is among the top three oil producers in the world, and the biggest emitter of CO2 per capita among major nations, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. The country has plans to generate half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, and has committed several hundred billion dollars to alternative energy.
Saudi Arabia is looking to reach “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2060, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced.
Speaking at the Saudi Green Initiative Forum in Riyadh on Saturday, MBS said that “the transition to net zero carbon emissions will be delivered in a manner that preserves the Kingdom’s leading role in enacting the security and stability of global energy markets.”
The prince went on to lay out the country’s other “green” objectives, including an initiative to reduce carbon emissions by 278 million tonnes annually by 2030. Riyadh, he said, also plans to establish a new centre for ‘sustainable tourism’, a non-profit foundation for the exploration of the world’s oceans and seas, and hopes to join several global environmentalism-focused groups, including the Global Oceans Alliance, the Alliance to Eliminate Plastic Waste in Oceans and Beaches, and the Sports for Climate Action Agreement.
The kingdom, he said, will also join the Global Methane Pledge, which expects to cut global methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
MBS also laid out an initiative to plant 450 million trees, and rehabilitate 8 million hectares of polluted territories by 2030.
The prince emphasised that Riyadh has already contributed more than 700 billion riyals - equivalent to over $186.6 billion, for its ‘Saudi Green Initiative’ economic programme, which he said would “provide huge investment opportunities for the private sector, quality job opportunities for the next generation of leaders in the Kingdom and enhanced international relationships that will have a positive impact on the region and the world.”
MBS’s announcement comes just over a week ahead of the upcoming global COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
8 October 2021, 12:43 GMT
Along with the United States and Russia, Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s top oil producers, and in the top ten among global natural gas producers. Despite its carbon neutrality plans at home, the kingdom has continued to ramp up investments in oil and gas for export abroad, and has big plans to continue to expand the sale of its fossil fuel wealth to Asia and other regions into the coming decades.
The country’s population of 34.8 million also accounts for about five percent of global greenhouse emissions. Last year, a Union of Concerned Scientists study concluded that Saudi Arabia was the single biggest emitter of CO2
per capita among major nations, with emissions reaching the equivalent of over 18 tonnes for every man, woman and child in the kingdom.