Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman participates in a panel during the annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 27, 2021. AFP
Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said new processes enabling the "circular carbon economy" -- a concept where waste carbon is captured and repurposed -- were key to the world's top oil exporter achieving net zero.
The desert kingdom, also one of the world's biggest polluters, is heavily promoting the virtues of the circular carbon economy (CCE) at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, an elite business gathering dubbed "Davos in the desert".
"CCE first and foremost depends on the evolution of technology," the minister told the conference, describing 2060 as a "dynamic baseline".
"Actually, if technology evolves even faster, we may not have to wait until 2060. It could bring it earlier."
On Saturday, Saudi Arabia pledged to go carbon neutral by 2060. Two days later it announced a billion-dollar contribution to initiatives to fund the circular carbon economy and provide "clean" fuel for the world's poor.
The United Nations says more than 130 countries have set or are considering a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by mid-century, an objective it says is "imperative" to safeguard a liveable climate.
World leaders will gather in Glasgow from Sunday for the UN's COP26, a historic summit