Saudi boost as COP26 looms

With days to go before COP26 Saudi Arabia has revealed it has set a target to become net carbon zero by 2060.

In a speech to the Saudi Green Initiative forum in Riyadh the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said it is aiming to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2060. It comes as the country also said it planned to become a world leader in the creation of hydrogen.

The Crown Prince said Saudi Arabia, currently the world’s biggest oil exporter,  has targeted a plan which will see it reduce carbon emissions by 278 million tons per year by 2030, with the adoption of the Carbon Circular Economy, based on zero waste, will help reach the target.

He added the Kingdom is to plant 450 million trees and reenergise 8 million hectares of degraded lands by 2030, and a commitment to delivering a further reduction of 200 million tons of carbon emissions with additional initiatives which will be revealed in the future.

It comes as Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud revealed the country wants to be the world’s biggest supplier of hydrogen. Speaking yesterday he said that the transition of  its energy industry would see the Kingdom produce around 4 million tons of hydrogen by 2030, much of which would be for export.

Saudi Arabia is also to join the Global Methane Pledge which sees signatories agree to cut global methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

The Crown Prince said: “The Saudi Green Initiative will 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.”

As [part of his address he revealed as part of their green agenda the country will join the Global Ocean Alliance, establishing the Ocean Exploration Foundation and announcing a number of initiatives – including a Global Centre for Tourism Sustainability.

He added that this first set of initiatives represents over 700 billion Saudi riyals contributing to the growth of the green economy.

The news comes a week before the world’s nations gather in Scotland for the COP26 conference were it is expected that calls will be made to speed three world’s efforts to move to net zero as part of the efforts to tackle global warming and limit temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.

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