Saudi pledges more than $1 bn in new climate initiatives

AFP , Monday 25 Oct 2021

Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler pledged more than $1 billion for new environmental initiatives on Monday, taking further steps to bolster environmental credentials of the world's top oil exporter.

 Saudi Green Initiative forum
File Photo: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the Saudi Green Initiative forum on October 23, 2021, in the Saudi capital Riyadh. AFP

Two days after targeting carbon neutrality by 2060, and ahead of next week's COP26 global climate change summit, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman promised to contribute 15 percent of $10.4 billion to fund the "circular carbon economy" and provide "clean fuel" to help feed 750 million people worldwide.

"Today we are initiating a green era for the area, believing that these changes are not only for the environment but also for the economy and security," he told heads of state and other senior officials at the Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Riyadh.

"We will work on establishing an investment fund in solutions with circular carbon technology in the region and a global initiative which will supply solutions for clean fuel to provide food for more than 750 million people globally."

The summit, which also featured the leaders of Kuwait and Pakistan, among others, and US presidential climate envoy John Kerry, follows Saturday's Saudi Green Initiative where Prince Mohammed announced a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2060.

Environmental group Greenpeace questioned the "seriousness" of the carbon target, which comes after oil giant Saudi Aramco said it planned to raise crude production to 13 million barrels a day by 2027.

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