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Saudi Arabia plans to become a net-zero economy by 2060, the Kingdom's Crown Prince said this weekend, adding that it had revised up its emission-cuts target for 2030, too.
Mohammed bin Salman was speaking at the Saudi Green Initiative ahead of COP26, as quoted by Reuters, and he also pointed out that hydrocarbons will remain important even during the energy transition to ensure the stability of the oil market.
The deadline that the crown prince has set for one of the world's largest oil producers is the same as the one Beijing has set for China. It is also a decade later than the deadline the Biden administration has set for the United States to become a net-zero country.
Under the Saudi Green Initiative, Reuters noted in its report, the Kingdom will aim to eliminate 278 million tons of carbon dioxide every year until 2030. This is up from an earlier annual target of 130 million tons. This will require investments of $190 billion for the period.
Last week, the BBC reported on a document leak containing thousands of submissions by countries to the International Panel on Climate Change following its report that many called an alarm for urgent climate action.
Among these submissions, one adviser to the Saudi oil ministry commented that "phrases like 'the need for urgent and accelerated mitigation actions at all scales…' should be eliminated from the report".
Saudi Arabia also wanted the authors to delete the conclusion that "the focus of decarbonisation efforts in the energy systems sector needs to be on rapidly shifting to zero-carbon sources and actively phasing out fossil fuels".
Indeed, the Saudi energy minister, Abdulaziz bin Salman, said about the emissions-cutting initiative that "It has to be a comprehensive solution. We need to be inclusive, and inclusivity requires being open to accept others' efforts as long as they are going to reduce emissions."
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.