Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman on Saturday (March 27) unveiled the Saudi Green Initiative and the Green Middle East Initiative which will shape the kingdom’s tendency to protect the Earth and nature, Saudi Gazette reported.
The crown prince said the two initiatives would strongly contribute to achieving the global objectives as Saudi Arabia and the region are facing many environmental challenges, such as desertification, which threaten the regional economy.
The initiative will clearly define an ambitious road map that rallies the region and significantly contributes to achieving global targets in confronting climate change.
As a leading global oil producer, the Saudi Arabia fully recognizes its share of responsibility in advancing the fight against the climate crisis, the crown prince said.
Just as the kingdom underpinned energy markets during the oil and gas era, it is going to become a global leader in forging a greener world.
According to him, the kingdom and the region face significant climate challenges, such as desertification, and an immediate economic risk, with a value of 13 billion U.S. dollars, currently constitutes a lost due to dust storms in the region every year.
In addition, air pollution from greenhouse gases also is estimated to have shortened average Saudi life expectancy by 1.5 years.
We will work through the Saudi Green Initiative to raise vegetation cover, reduce carbon emissions, combat pollution and land degradation, as well as preserve marine life, the crown prince said.
The initiative will include a number of ambitious initiatives, most notably the planting of 10 billion trees within the kingdom in the upcoming decades. The number is equivalent to rehabilitating roughly 40 million hectares of degraded lands, translating to a 12-fold increase from current tree covers.
Those actions represent the kingdom’s contribution of more than 4 percent in achieving the goals of the global initiative to limit the degradation of lands and fungal habitats, and 1 percent of the global target to plant 1 trillion trees.
Saudi Arabia will also work to raise the percentage of protected areas to more than 30 percent of its total land area, representing roughly 600,000 square kilometers, exceeding the current global target of 17 percent percent.
In addition, it will launch a number of ambitious initiatives to protect marine and coastal environments.
The Crown Prince further added, the Saudi Green Initiative would also work to reduce carbon emissions by more than 4 percent of global contributions, through an ambitious renewable energy program that will generate 50 percent of the kingdom’s energy from renewables by 2030.
Saudi Arabia would also work on several other projects in the fields of clean hydrocarbon technologies, estimated to eliminate more than 130 million tons of carbon emissions, alongside raising the rate of waste diversion from landfills to reach 94 percent in the country.
The details of the Saudi Green Initiative are going to be announced in next few months, and a global forum with international partners for the Middle East Green Initiative will be launched and held in the second quarter of next year.
Reporting by Raihana Radhwa