Saudi Arabia commits $2.5bn to Middle East Green Initiative over next 10 years

Public Investment Fund to target net zero emissions through sustainable development by 2050

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. AFP
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Saudi Arabia will contribute $2.5 billion to a green initiative in the Middle East over the next ten years, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced during the Cop27 UN climate summit on Monday.

The kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, will also target net zero emissions through sustainable development by 2050, the prince said.

Prince Mohammed was speaking at the second edition of the Middle East Green Initiative conference being held in Cairo alongside the Cop27 climate change summit in Egypt.

He told attendees that the kingdom aims to provide more sustainable energy systems and that Saudi Arabia would build a prominent headquarters for the initiative.

“With concerted regional efforts, the initiative seeks to support efforts and co-operation in the region to reduce and eliminate emissions by more than 670 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent,” he said.

This is the amount of all nationally determined contributions made by countries in the region, around 10 per cent of global carbon emissions when the initiative was announced, the crown prince said.

The prince also announced a plan for “planting 50 billion trees to increase the area covered with trees 12 times and the reclamation of 200 million hectares of degraded land, reducing 2.5 per cent of global emissions”.

He added that by the kingdom would use renewables for 50 per cent of its electricity generation by 2030 and have removed 44 million tons of carbon emissions by 2035.

Attendees are pictured during the opening ceremony of the Saudi Green Initiative forum on October 23, 2021, in the Saudi capital Riyadh. AFP

Prince Mohammed said the kingdom launched the Saudi Green Initiative to reduce emissions by more than 278 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030, through many initiatives.

This includes an international co-operation platform to implement projects, a regional investment fund dedicated to financing solutions for circular carbon economy technologies and the “Clean Fuel Solutions Initiative for Food Savings”.

The second Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) Summit and Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) Forum is being held in Sharm El Sheikh in tandem with Cop27.

The MGI Summit was held on Monday and the SGI Forum on November 11 and 12.

The second SGI Forum will feature an elite line-up of climate experts and thought leaders to discuss the progress that has been made towards achieving climate targets announced by the kingdom last year.

The theme of this year’s forum, “from ambition to action”, reflects Saudi Arabia’s determination to turn these targets into reality.

Updated: November 08, 2022, 10:10 AM