Gulf region to turn green with Saudi plan to plant 50bln trees

The initiative launches environmental programmes to help the Middle East region reach its sustainability goals

Al Jumum, Saudi Arabia. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Al Jumum, Saudi Arabia. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz announced the launch of the Green Middle East initiative.

According to Arab News, the initiative is set to apply a number of ambitious programmes that will reduce carbon emissions by 60 per cent in the region and plant 50 billion trees in the world’s biggest afforestation project.

“As a leading global oil producer, we are fully aware of our responsibility in advancing the fight against the climate crisis,” said the Saudi Crown Prince.

The tree-planting project will be double the size of the Great Green Wall in Saudi’s Sahel region, the second-biggest regional afforestation initiative.

The initiative will work to increase the percentage of protected land to more than 30 per cent, exceeding the global target at 17 per cent per country.

It will reduce carbon emissions by more than four per cent of global contributions through renewable energy projects that will provide 50 per cent of the Kingdom’s electricity production by 2030.

The initiative is expected to eliminate more than 130 million tonnes of carbon emissions by using clean hydrocarbon technologies.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will work with these countries to transfer knowledge and share experiences, which will contribute to reducing carbon emissions by more than 60 per cent,” he added, explaining that the joint effort would achieve a reduction of more than 10 per cent of global contributions.

During a phone call on Monday, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, affirmed the UAE's full cooperation with Saudi Arabia on this initiative.

Multiple other countries have expressed their readiness to take part in the initiative, including, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Sudan and Iraq.

The initiative was also recently lauded by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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