Saudi Arabia, leading oil exporter, targets net zero emissions by 2060


  • Dual objective of reducing carbon emissions
  • Saudi initiative for an investment of 187 billion dollars
  • Fight against climate change while ensuring the stability of the oil market
  • Could reach target before 2060, according to Minister of Energy

RIYAD, October 23 (Reuters) – The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that the world’s largest oil exporter is aiming to achieve “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions – mostly produced by burning fossil fuels – by 2060 – 10 years later than the United States.

He also said he would double the emission reductions he plans to achieve by 2030.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his energy minister said Saudi Arabia will tackle climate change, but also underlined the continued importance of hydrocarbons and said it will continue to ensure stability in the oil market. .

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 on deeper global emissions reductions to tackle the global warming.

The United States, the world’s second-largest emitter, pledges to achieve “net zero”, which means it will not emit more greenhouse gases than it can capture or absorb, by 2050. But China and India, the world’s biggest and third-largest emitters, have not committed to this timetable.

Amin Nasser, chief executive of state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, said it was counterproductive to “demonize” hydrocarbons. He said Aramco aims to expand its oil and gas production capacity while achieving net zero emissions from its own operations by 2050.

He called for more global investment to ensure an adequate supply of crude oil. Read more

Prince Mohammed said in recorded remarks that the kingdom aims to reach net zero by 2060 as part of its circular carbon economy program, “while maintaining its leading role in strengthening security and the stability of world oil markets “.

He said Saudi Arabia would join a global initiative to cut methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030, which the US and EU have pressed.

“STILL NEED FOR HYDROCARBONS”

US climate envoy John Kerry is scheduled to attend a larger Middle East Green Summit in Riyadh on Monday. Read more

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud speaks at the Saudi Green Initiative Forum to discuss the efforts of the world’s largest oil exporter to tackle climate change in Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia, October 23, 2021. REUTERS / Ahmed Yosri

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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 more than 700 billion riyals ($ 190 billion) during this period.

Saudi Arabia’s economy remains heavily dependent on oil, although the crown prince is trying to promote diversification.

Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the world needs fossil fuels as well as renewable energy.

“It has to be a comprehensive solution,” he said. “We have to be inclusive, and inclusiveness requires being open to accepting the efforts of others as long as they are going to reduce emissions.”

He said the kingdom’s younger generation “won’t wait for us to change their future.”

He said net zero could be reached before 2060, but the kingdom needed time to get things “right”.

Another Gulf oil producer, the United Arab Emirates, this month announced a plan for net zero emissions by 2050. read more

The nonprofit Climate Action Tracker consortium gives Saudi Arabia its lowest possible ranking, “critically insufficient”.

Saudi Arabia’s first renewable power plant opened in April and its first wind farm started producing in August.

However, he plans to build a $ 5 billion plant to produce hydrogen, a clean fuel, and state-linked entities are turning to green fundraising. ($ 1 = 3.7507 riyals)

(This story corrected paragraph five to clarify that China, not the United States, is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases)

Reporting by Yousef Saba and Saeed Azhar in Riyadh, Marwa Rashad in London and Maher Chmaytelli in Dubai; additional reporting by Raya Jalbi in Dubai; written by Ghaida Ghantous; edited by Jason Neely and Kevin Liffey

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