Saudi Arabia's crown prince announced two new initiatives to tackle climate change on Saturday. (File/@Riyadh_Green)
The Kingdom is opting for a more sustainable future with the launch of the Green Saudi and Green Middle East initiatives.
Announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the initiatives are set to apply a number of ambitious programs that will reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent in the region and plant 50 billion trees in the world’s biggest afforestation project.
The tree-planting project will be double the size of the Great Green Wall in the Sahel region, the second-biggest regional afforestation initiative.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “As a leading global oil producer, we are fully aware of our responsibility in advancing the fight against the climate crisis, and that just as we played a leading role in stabilizing energy markets during the oil and gas era, we will work to lead the coming green era.”
While economic and social development may be at the forefront of the agenda in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom has been committed to applying new environmental policies, including the preservation of marine and desert habitats and greenifying its urban areas.
Many of the Kingdom’s programs are aiming to raise the value of natural resources to ensure economic and ecological sustainability while considering the environment.
The initiative will also work to increase the percentage of protected land to more than 30 percent, exceeding the global target at 17 percent per country. It will reduce carbon emissions by more than four percent of global contributions through renewable energy projects that will provide 50 percent of the Kingdom’s electricity production by 2030.
The initiative is expected to eliminate more than 130 million tons of carbon emissions by using clean hydrocarbon technologies.