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Saudi Crown Prince Announces 2nd Edition of Middle East Green Initiative at COP27

Saudi Crown Prince Announces 2nd Edition of Middle East Green Initiative at COP27

Friday, 21 October, 2022 - 06:45
Family photo of participants at the first Middle East Green Initiative (KUNA)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz announced the second edition of the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) Summit on Nov. 7 and the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) Forum on Nov. 11 and 12, under the theme "From Ambition to Action," at the COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman thanked Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and his country's government for hosting the two events, coinciding with the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27).

He said COP27 is an event bringing nations from around the world together under one roof to advance global climate ambitions by inspiring joint activity at the local, regional, and international levels.

He indicated that Saudi Arabia and Egypt believe in the importance of collaborative action to address the environmental and climate challenges facing the region and the world.

After the success of the first edition of the MGI, which was hosted by the Saudi capital, Riyadh, last October, the second edition shed light on the vital climate challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa Region, ensuring regional priorities are placed on the global stage.

The MGI Summit is a strategic regional platform that promotes cross-border cooperation, knowledge exchange, and discussion between Heads of State, relevant government ministers, and policymakers. The first-of-its-kind summit contributes to accelerating the transition towards a green economy and building a more sustainable future for future generations.

This year's event will also bring together a group of speakers, experts, and thought leaders to discuss the progress in implementing the initiatives previously announced by Saudi Arabia to confront climate change.

The Crown Prince launched the two initiatives last year to enhance Saudi environmental challenges facing the country and the region, including high temperatures, low rainfall, dust storms, and desertification.

The launch of MGI and SGI also reflects the Kingdom's commitment to advancing public health and improving the standard of living for its citizens and residents.

The Saudi Green Initiative is an ambitious national initiative to improve the quality of life and protect future generations by accelerating green transformation, reducing and eliminating emissions, and addressing climate change.

The initiative is a natural extension of Vision 2030, as it works on including all segments of society in drawing a green future by activating the role of the public and private sectors and enabling citizens to contribute to achieving ambitious national goals.

Specialists believe that the inclusion of all the society will accelerate the expansion of climate action in Saudi Arabia and create a positive impact, based on three ambitious goals derived from the country's national ambition of achieving net zero emissions by 2060 through a Carbon Circular Economy model.

In light of rising temperatures, the Kingdom is facing a set of negative impacts, such as desertification, dust storms, and the scarcity of fresh water.

As a global energy producer, Saudi Arabia affirmed its commitment to expanding climate action while maintaining economic and social development and its keenness to be an active partner in international efforts to address climate change.

Saudi Arabia has also indicated on many occasions that it rejects the "misguided" choice between preserving the economy or protecting the environment, stressing that the transition to net zero emissions is taking place in a way that keeps its leading role in enhancing the security and stability of global energy markets.

Under the Saudi Green Initiative, the Kingdom aims to plant ten billion trees across Saudi Arabia in the coming decades, raising the percentage of protected areas to 30 percent of the total areas of Saudi Arabia and reducing carbon emissions by 278 million tons annually 2030.

The national goals contribute to achieving regional targets set out by the Kingdom at the MGI Summit. These focus on reducing regional carbon emissions by more than 10% of global contributions and planting 50 billion trees across the region as part of the world's most extensive afforestation program.

Environmental expert and head of the Friends of the Environment Association, Professor Abdullah al-Fahd, considered that through the adoption of MGI and SGI and the diversity of its internal and regional projects, Saudi Arabia leads environmental extreme and climate action globally.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Fahd stated that the two initiatives are among the most extensive environmental projects in the world, especially with their impact on local, regional, and international levels.

He praised the involvement of all public and private sectors and civil society in addition to schools and universities, which indicates their understanding of the importance of the environmental and climate action strategy and its repercussions on many levels.

Fahd revealed that since Vision 2030, vegetation cover and protected areas have increased, considering the rise in awareness among the most significant gains of the two initiatives and the previously implemented vision programs.

He explained that their impact is continuous and widespread, which is reflected in the regrowth of vegetation cover in many areas across the country, including extinct trees, adding that it was possible with the support of environmental associations, the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture, and the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification.

The second editions of the Middle East Green Initiative Summit and the Saudi Green Initiative Forum are receiving unparalleled attention from regional leaders, international organizations, and bodies specialized in environment and climate affairs.

Several leaders and top officials participated in the first edition.

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