A leading figure in Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund says he does not mind if the country misses its goal of net zero by 2060, as long as it pushes ahead with environmentally-friendly policies.

The Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz announced on Sunday his country would cut carbon emissions to net zero within 40 years — a move that received widespread praise from world leaders.

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh on Wednesday, Fahad AlSaif, head of Global Capital Finance at Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), said it would be “shameful” if the Kingdom missed the target by reneging on environmental commitments.

AlSaid said: “What we are planning to do in the Kingdom is to ensure there’s affordable energy, commitment to climate change and also affordable communities and cities.

“This is all summed up by all of the initiatives that the Kingdom is taking, more precisely the Public Investment Fund, the NEOM, the Red Sea, the renewable energy sector, the 2060 zero-emission carbon target, the 278 million tons of carbon emissions reduction that we are actually aspiring to as a KPI by 2030.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is playing a major role to ensure that we are able to collaborate and to ensure that we are able to set a new benchmarks.

“We are willing to take that challenge. The intent is there, the capacity is there, the trajectory is there, and we have to prove that we are able to progress.

“I don’t mind not achieving the target, but I would be very shameful if I were not able if I have taken dramatic decisions by taking u-turns.”

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