Oman is aiming to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 through an ambitious national plan.
Sultan Haitham on Tuesday passed a royal decree to approve the plan, which is in line with Oman's 2040 Vision, the Oman News Agency reported.
He also approved the establishment of the Oman Centre for Sustainability “to supervise and follow up on plans and programmes for carbon neutrality”, it added.
Scientists agree that to stop the worst of the impacts of climate change, the world needs to cut CO2 emissions by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, and reach net zero by 2050.
Net zero is the process through which greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere are balanced by those being taken out of it.
The Paris Cop21 agreement, signed by 192 countries including Oman, requires states to “achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century”.
Environmentalists celebrated the move.
“Oman sets 2050 as its net-zero year target with plans to set out a national road map and establishing the Oman Sustainability Centre to oversee and implement plans and programmes to achieve net zero finally,” Omani marine scientist Rumaitha Al Busaidi wrote on Twitter.
“Good news! It’s been a long time coming!”
The approval is in line with Oman’s 2040 Vision, which aims to create an effective, balanced and resilient ecosystem to protect the environment.
Sultan Haitham said co-ordination and integration between different government institutions is necessary for success.
Last month, the government created the “Carbon Management Laboratory”, which was supervised by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals in co-operation with environment and civil aviation authorities.
Oman last week announced its CubeSat would launch into orbit from Cornwall in the UK to analyse the environment.