Saudi Arabia’s crown prince launched a Middle East Green Initiative on Monday which he said aimed to invest 39 billion riyals ($10.4 billion) to reduce carbon emissions in the region and protect the environment.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the kingdom, which is the world’s top oil exporter, would contribute 15% of the funds and would work with other states and development funds on the funding and execution of the initiatives.
“As part of the kingdom’s leading role in developing energy markets, it will work to establish an investment fund for carbon circular economy solutions in the region and an initiative to offer clean energy solutions to help feed more than 750 million people worldwide,” he said.
Saudi Arabia would work to establish a regional carbon capture and storage centre, a regional early storm warning centre and a regional cloud seeding programme, he also said.
When plans for the initiative were first announced in March, the prince had said it aimed to reduce carbon emissions in the region by 60% and reverse desertification in one of world’s most water stressed regions by planting billions of trees.
On Saturday, the crown prince pledged that Saudi Arabia would reach “net zero” emissions by 2060 at the Saudi Green Initiative forum.
The Gulf state is hosting the climate events ahead of COP26, the United Nations conference in Glasgow, which hopes to agree deeper global emissions cuts to tackle global warming.