RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) Summit in Riyadh on Monday and announced two initiatives at a cost of SR39 billion ($10.39 billion) to combat climate change, of which Saudi Arabia will contribute about 15 percent of the entire cost.
Opening the summit, the Crown Prince said the gathering also planned to put a regional roadmap into place for combating climate change.
“We gather today at this summit to join forces and coordinate our efforts to protect the environment, confront climate change, and develop a roadmap towards reducing carbon emissions in the region by more than 10 percent of global contribution, and plant 50 billion trees in the region, though the largest tree-planting program globally, this will contribute to achieving 5 percent of the global target for afforestation,” said the Crown Prince.
The Crown Prince also said that the Kingdom will be establishing an investment fund for carbon economy solutions in the region, and a global initiative that contributes to clean fuel solutions to feed more than 750 million people worldwide.
He added that the Kingdom will build a regional program to reduce carbon emissions within the framework of the Green Middle East Initiative, and create a cooperation platform to implement the concept of a circular carbon economy.
“There are gaps in the regional climate action system. And through coordinating regional efforts and sharing experiences and technologies, we can accelerate achievements in our initiatives,” he said.
“To enable this, the Kingdom announces that it will establish a Cooperative Platform to implement the concepts of Circular Carbon Economy (CCE), establish a regional hub for climate change, develop a regional centre for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), a regional centre for early warning of storms; a regional centre for sustainable development of fisheries; and a regional cloud seeding program. These centres and programs will play a major role in establishing the necessary infrastructure to protect the environment, reduce emissions and raise the level of regional coordination.”
Heads of state from around the world are taking part in the MGI Summit, including Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and Crown Prince of Jordan Hussein bin Abdullah II.
John Kerry, the first Special Envoy for Climate for the US, is also in attendance.