RIYADH, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s crown prince said on Saturday that the world’s top oil exporter aims to reach “net zero” emissions of greenhouse gases, mostly produced by burning fossil fuels, by 2060 – 10 years later than the United States.
He also said it would double the emissions cuts it plans to achieve by 2030.
They were speaking at the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) ahead of COP26, the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow at the end of the month, which hopes to agree deeper global emissions cuts to tackle global warming.
Amin Nasser, chief executive of the state oil giant Saudi Aramco, said it was counterproductive to “demonise” hydrocarbons. He said Aramco aimed to expand its oil and gas production capacity while also achieving net zero emissions from its own operations by 2050.
He said Saudi Arabia would join a global initiative on slashing emissions of methane by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030, which both the United States and the EU have been pressing.
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, in a phone call with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, welcomed the kingdom’s initiatives to reduce emissions, state media said. L1N2RJ0FB
The SGI aims to eliminate 278 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year by 2030, up from a previous target of 130 million tonnes. The crown prince said the SGI initiative would involve investments of over 700 billion riyals ($190 billion) in that time period.
Saudi Arabia’s economy remains heavily reliant on oil, although the crown prince is trying to promote diversification.
“It has to be a comprehensive solution,” he said. “We need to be inclusive, and inclusivity requires being open to accept others’ efforts as long as they are going to reduce emissions.”
He said net zero might be achieved before 2060 but the kingdom needed time to do things “properly”.
It does, however, have plans to build a $5 billion plant to produce hydrogen, a clean fuel, and state-linked entities are pivoting to green fundraising.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.