Saudi Arabia announces start of green era for the Middle East

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced a series of regional programmes for climate action at the Middle East Green Initiative in Riyadh on 25 October

Wednesday 03 November 2021 09:36
<p>Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at MGI Summit</p>

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at MGI Summit

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince outlined the country’s roadmap for fighting climate change at the inaugural Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) summit today.

He urged dozens of heads of state from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to join with him to launch a series of initiatives and play their role in protecting the environment, as the region aims to reduce emissions from hydrocarbon production by more than 60 per cent.

“These changes are not only to benefit the environment, but also for the economy and security of our country,” said the Crown Prince.

The programmes will include creating a regional hub dedicated to addressing climate change, centres for early storm warnings and the sustainable development of fisheries, a cloud seeding programme and an investment fund for the development of a circular carbon economy.

The milestone event brought together global climate experts with heads of government to discuss how to deliver on the region’s shared environmental goals.

The Crown Prince also announced a £7.5bn regional initiative to provide clean energy sources for cooking to more than 750 million people worldwide and a fund for investment in sustainable technology solutions. He said that Saudi Arabia would finance 15 per cent (£1.1bn) of this initiative.

The region’s plans to reduce carbon emissions from hydrocarbon production by more than 60 per cent will reduce emissions by more than 10 per cent of overall global contributions.

It will also include the world’s largest reforestation programme, where 50 billion trees will be planted across the region, restoring an area equivalent to 200 million hectares of degraded land.

This is 5 per cent of global targets for reforestation, and would reduce global carbon levels by 2.5 per cent.

During the live-streamed event, the Crown Prince outlined Saudi Arabia’s vision for making the world a greener and more sustainable place.

“To counteract climate change, we need to protect our natural resources and enhance cooperation in the region,” he said.

He further announced the establishment of the Green Initiative Foundation to bolster the country’s ambitions, which will support the creation of jobs in the renewable energy sector and opportunities for the private sector.

“We believe that climate change is an economic opportunity for our citizens and the private sector, which, stimulated by the Middle East Green Initiative, will create quality jobs and encourage innovation in the region,” he said.

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