The UAE has praised Saudi Arabia’s decision to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2060.
The world’s biggest oil exporter has set a target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said at the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) forum in Riyadh, on Saturday.
Saudi Arabia's decision is a “landmark, bold, long-term” strategic initiative, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change.
“If anyone can pull this off, it is the weight, depth and strength of the kingdom that will help enable the world to seriously and in a progressive manner address the threats of climate change in a real, true, practical manner,” Dr Al Jaber said during a discussion at the forum.
Dr Al Jaber called it a “paradigm shift” on how business is conducted and a “step-change” for climate dialogue.
“This is just another example of how this region can help address global challenges,” he said.
“It is simply an open invitation for the world to partner with the UAE and now with Saudi Arabia to help address gaps and build bridges and develop the necessary and seriously required solutions to help progress the discussions for climate action,” Dr Al Jaber said.
Oil and gas will continue to play an important role in meeting the world’s need for energy, Dr Al Jaber said, adding that the energy transition will take time and requires a diversified energy mix.
“Today, more than 80 per cent of the global energy system is fossil fuels and around 55 per cent is oil and gas,” he said.
Dr Al Jaber said that political climate action has slowed, even as investment in renewable energy has grown, and that the world needs practical solutions that are commercial and scalable.
Expressing optimism about Cop26, the UN Climate Conference taking place in Glasgow next month, Dr Al Jaber provided insights on the UAE’s offer to host Cop28.
“After the highs of Paris, political climate action has slowed, even as investment in renewables has risen, and the world has experienced a series of climate-related weather events,” Dr Al Jaber said, referring to the 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change.
“So, it is evident that Cop26 needs to start shifting the goals towards an action-oriented approach. The world needs practical solutions that are commercial and scalable, and Cop26 provides a timely platform to shift gears.”