Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, launched the Middle East Green Initiative on Monday which he said aimed to invest 39 billion riyals ($10.4 billion) to reduce carbon emissions in the region and protect the environment.
Speaking at the inaugural Middle East Green Initiative Summit, he said: “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% of global contribution, and plant 50 billion trees in the region, though the largest tree-planting program globally. This will contribute to achieving 5% of the global target for afforestation.”
“Today, in the first edition of this summit, we aim to work together to develop a regional roadmap and a framework to enable the achievement of these ambitious targets,” he added.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes that traditional energy sources were the primary reason for the transformation underwent by the regional and global countries from traditional agricultural economies to globally active economies and the catalyst towards the fastest economic growth ever known to mankind,” he continued.
“Today, we are ushering in a new green era for the region in which we are collectively leading and reaping its fruits in our joint belief that the effects of climate change are not limited to the natural environment only, but also to the economy and security of our nations,” he stressed.
“Despite that, we believe that climate change is an economic opportunity for our citizens and the private sector, which stimulated by the Middle East Green Initiative, will create quality jobs and encourage innovation in the region,” stated Crown Prince Mohammed.
“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 remarked.
“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 center for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), a regional center for early warning of storms; a regional center for sustainable development of fisheries; and a regional cloud seeding program,” he revealed.
“These centers 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,” he added.
“In continuation of the Kingdom’s leading role in the development of global energy markets, we announce the establishment of a fund to invest in Carbon Circular Economy technology solutions for the region, in addition to a regional initiative that contributes to providing solutions for ‘clean’ energy sources for cooking to more than 750 million people in the world,” he continued.
“These two initiatives are valued at roughly 39 billion riyals, and the Kingdom will contribute to roughly 15% in funding that. We will also work with countries and regional and global development banks to discuss funding and execution solutions to these initiatives,” he went on to say.
“As we are keen to raise the level of coordination, we announce the establishment of the Green Initiative Foundation, as a non-profit organization to support the agenda of the summit.”
“Facing climate change requires us to jointly work towards developing advanced technologies and creating the appropriate environment to finance them, preserving our region’s natural treasures, and strengthening our cooperation,” stressed Crown Prince Mohammed.