Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and the Arab world's biggest bourse Tadawul plan to set up the Riyadh Voluntary Exchange Platform for offsets and carbon credits within the Middle East and North Africa region.
The platform will become the primary destination for companies and institutions that target reducing their emissions, or contributing towards reductions, through the trading of verified, approved and high quality carbon equivalent credits certificates, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.
“These efforts are part of Saudi Arabia’s leading role within the region to contribute to the reduction of climate change effects as part of several initiatives that were launched with that regard, through pursuing additional methodologies such as creating a motivational environment for companies and institutes to reduce their emissions," Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who heads the PIF and is also chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, said. "We are well-positioned to incubate and host this exchange platform.”
Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest crude exporter, has set ambitious targets to fight climate change and cut carbon emissions as part of its Vision 2030 plan to overhaul its economy and reduce its reliance on oil. The Crown Prince said in April that the kingdom aims to reduce emissions by generating 50 per cent of the country's energy from renewable sources by 2030.
The Arab world’s largest economy will also be hosting the inaugural Saudi Green Initiative and The Middle East Green Initiative in Riyadh from October 23 to 25.
The Riyadh Voluntary Exchange Platform will support the reduction of climate change effects and contribute to the Paris Agreement goals, the SPA said.
In April, Saudi Arabia joined the US, Canada, Norway and Qatar in forming a new platform for oil and gas producers to discuss how they can support the implementation of the Paris Agreement, according to the SPA.
"We have a strong financial background that we will deploy to create a suitable environment for the voluntary exchange platform and we will capitalise on our partnerships and the strength of our investment portfolio, in addition to exploiting the efforts led by the Sovereign Wealth Funds Group that aim to enhance the effect of its investments on the environment," Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan, governor of the PIF, said.