DUBAI — Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman announced on Monday that the Saudi Green Initiative was launched in 2021 to achieve the country’s climate ambitions of reaching zero neutrality by 2060. “Within this initiative, the Kingdom is committed to reducing 278 million tons of carbon emissions annually by 2030,” he said while inaugurating the third edition of the Saudi Green Initiative 2023 (SGI) Forum in Dubai on Monday.

“When the international community called for increasing climate ambition, the Kingdom came forward and launched Green Saudi Arabia initiative as a fundamental pillar for achieving the Kingdom’s climate ambitions. We are working to expand our efforts regionally and internationally through the Green Middle East Initiative to achieve global climate goals,” he said.

Prince Abdulaziz said that Saudi Arabia, through the previous session of the SGI forum during “COP27”, which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, and during the current “COP28” being held in Dubai, showed its utmost keenness and strenuous efforts to achieve those ambitions regarding renewable energy. “The Kingdom’s concrete action on implementing renewables are reflected by its ability to quadruple its capacity from 700 megawatts last year to two gigawatt with more than eight gigawatts of renewable under construction and around 13 gigawatts in various development stages. We are also planning to tender an additional 20 gigawatt by 2024 as part of our commitment to accelerate the development to renewable energy project,” he said.

Prince Abdulaziz considered that Saudi Arabia’s actions are examples of all solutions and technologies, which is consistent with the Paris Agreement in its bottom-up approach. “We will work together to enhance the role of technology-based initiatives to boost the implementation of effective climate action,” he said while pointing out that Saudi Arabia has launched a geographical survey project, effective from 2024, and it is one of the few projects implemented at the national level on this large scale.

The Saudi minister reaffirmed that the country is making progress to eliminate the burning of 1000 barrels of oil in fuel, four gas power plants with a capacity of 4.6 gigawatts, and will build 8.4 gigawatts of gas power plants with carbon sequestration. He said that the Kingdom will build additional power stations with a capacity of 7 gigawatts, stressing that it will continue to implement energy efficiency and its initiatives, and build the transportation sectors featuring energy saving.

Among these initiatives, there has been a very significant improvement in carbon capture and storage, the minister said. “We will make available two industrial headquarters in the east of the country with a capacity of 44 million tons annually, and in the western region with a capacity of more than one million tons annually, to exploit carbon dioxide.”

Prince Abdulaziz stressed that Saudi Arabia aims to become a major exporter of green hydrogen globally, as the NEOM Project has completed its first phase and achieved investments worth $8.5 billion. This project will produce 1.2 million tons of green ammonia annually, he said while pointing out that the Kingdom is developing international partnerships to develop more green hydrogen projects in the country, in addition to hydrogen mobility solutions, including trains.

The minister said that Saudi Arabia, in its bid to boost its ambition to export clean and green electricity and hydrogen, has signed a memorandum of understanding for the economic corridor between India, the Middle East and Europe, during the G20 summit meetings in India. “This will be an essential possibility for export, and this corridor includes electricity, transmission lines and hydrogen pipelines, where we will supply clean energy on a large scale at a low cost and in a reliable manner. Saudi Arabia is working closely to achieve circular carbon in the energy transition, which was approved by the G20 summit,” he said.

Prince Abdulaziz stressed that Saudi Arabia announced, at the Saudi-African summit recently held in Riyadh, the allocation of $50 billion, saying that this will help resilient infrastructure and enhance climate and adaptation issues on the African continent, directly through Saudi partners to ensure the appropriate implementation of projects. The minister noted that there is another major initiative that the Kingdom is promoting, which is clean fuel solutions for cooking. Since 2021, Saudi Arabia’s Green Middle East Initiative has been implementing projects in Asian and African countries, and supports training and raising awareness alongside governments, and this includes support for cooking kits to boost solutions for small farm owners to ensure the safe and clean use of cooking plans, across key applications through liquid gas and solar energy.”

Prince Abdulaziz noted that the third edition of the SGI Forum contains a rich agenda to discuss climate action, explore challenges and opportunities, and review innovations. The forum will highlight Saudi Arabia’s projects and initiatives to promote sustainability and mitigate climate action under SGI, which was launched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2021. The minister also unveiled the Kingdom’s plan to become a key exporter of green hydrogen.

Referring to the Kingdom’s plans to enhance international cooperation in the field of climate, the minister said: “We are working to enhance innovation and use a wide range of technologies to reap the benefits of economic prosperity and secure access to affordable energy in a more sustainable future for all, while addressing the fundamental challenges of climate change.”

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