Saudi Arabia targets net-zero by 2060

As one of the world’s leading oil exporters, one might think that reducing carbon emissions is not a priority for Saudi Arabia’s strategic planning.

However, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia confirmed on Saturday that it will aim to reach zero-net carbon emissions by 2060.

Speaking at the Saudi Green Initiative, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made the pledge which could serve to build momentum ahead of COP26 which will take place in Glasgow soon.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to reach zero-net emissions by 2060 under its circular carbon economy program in accordance with the kingdom’s development plan ... while maintaining the kingdom’s leading role in strengthening security and stability of global oil markets,” Prince Mohammed said.

Prince Mohammed added that the Saudi Green Initiative seeks to get rid of 278m metric tons of carbon emissions each year, more than double its previous target of 130m metric tons.

The UAE, a fellow Gulf OPEC nation, divulged plans earlier this month to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, a decade ahead of its neighbour.

Saudi Arabia has previously faced criticism for its perceived lackadaisical efforts to reduce emissions.

However, as the kingdom seeks to recover from the pandemic, it remains reliant on oil, as its ability to diversify economically has not kept pace with its ambitions.

The Saudis may also argue that the world would be foolish to think it can function properly without using its supply of crude oil for years to come.

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