The Middle East green initiative summit ended last night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the presence of some thirty heads of state, ministers and presidents of international organizations. Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salmane announced an investment of 1.5 billion dollars to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
Ambitious measures to meet the climate challenge
Last weekend was a green weekend in Saudi Arabia, where several international gatherings on the protection of the environment and the fight against global warming took place in Riyadh: the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, which brought together climate experts and Saudi representatives committed to the climate, then the Youth Green Summit dedicated to young people and their commitment, and finally the Middle East Green Initiative Summit, which this time brought together official representatives of some thirty states and international organizations.
During this long weekend of exchanges and political discussions on the climate future of the region – one of the most polluted in the world – several commitments were announced by Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salmane. The first is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, like China, which has set itself the same challenge. This commitment consists in finding a balance between the emission and absorption of greenhouse gases, so that they no longer pollute the atmosphere.
The kingdom’s second pledge is to create a “regional initiative that contributes to providing solutions for clean energy sources” as well as “a fund to invest in Carbon Circular Economy technology solutions for the region.” And it is precisely the circular economy that is recommended by the United Nations to effectively combat the excessive consumption of polluting fuels. In total, these initiatives represent a cost of 10 billion dollars, which Saudi Arabia is committed to pay up to 15%, or 1.5 billion dollars.
Several international leaders on board
These ambitious and costly objectives were announced by Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salmane on Monday, October 25, in the presence of several Arab and international leaders, such as former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, now U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change, the Tunisian Prime Minister Najla Bouden, or the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriákos Mitsotákis.
All have affirmed the urgency of climate action in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, but also in Brazil and Pakistan, where the repercussions of global warming are already being felt. Greece has also mentioned its willingness to unite several partner countries to find a way to better preserve cultural heritage from the consequences of climate change. Tunisia, for its part, has requested financial support from partner countries for its transition to a sustainable and ecological economy.
This first international meeting for the ecology in the Middle East comes a few days before the next COP26, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 12, and announces an important turning point in the Saudi policy in the fight against global warming.