Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister HRH Mohammed bin Salman have led the Kingdom’s journey towards combating climate change and protecting the environment. HRH stated that the Green Saudi Initiative and the Green Middle East Initiative are products of the Kingdom’s pioneering role toward common international issues.
This comes to complement Saudi Arabia’s efforts to protect the planet during its presidency of the Group of Twenty, which resulted in Issuing a special declaration on the environment, adopting the concept of a circular carbon economy, and establishing the first special working group for the environment in it.
Crown Prince Khalid has demonstrated to everyone that he is an exceptional personality, one who works day and night, with well-thought-out plans, and according to institutional work in all areas of interest to the country and the people, dazzling the world with what he has accomplished in a short period.
The Saudi Crown Prince is proceeding, enlightened by the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, towards achieving qualitative leaps in the military, political, economic, technological, health, and educational fields. All of this is achieved, despite the difficult conditions that the region is living through, which is rife with wars, and suffers from conflicts and disputes. Despite all of this, countries and people are still entering cycles of famine, collapse, and poverty. In the face of challenges, the Kingdom remains steadfast and never forgets to offer assistance to nations still struggling to address their conditions and overcome their crises.
The Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman remains an inspirational leader due to his wisdom and genius. As a result, the Kingdom gained prominence abroad, establishing exemplary and balanced equal partnership agreements, and establishing itself as a leader.
The young prince has also created an atmosphere of security for the citizen and the resident at home, supported by charitable projects that are not only reassuring souls but also ensuring a prosperous future for a state that takes on the duty of protecting and guaranteeing human rights.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced that the “Green Saudi Initiative” and the “Green Middle East Initiative” will chart the direction of the Kingdom and the region in protecting the land and nature, placing it on a road map with clear and ambitious milestones, and will contribute strongly to achieving global goals.
The Crown Prince said: “As a leading global oil producer, we are fully aware of our share of responsibility in advancing the fight against the climate crisis, and that just as our pioneering role in stabilizing energy markets during the oil and gas era, we will work to lead the next green era.”
The Crown Prince added that the Kingdom and the region face many environmental challenges, such as desertification, which poses an economic threat to the region (it is estimated that $13 billion is drained from sandstorms in the region each year). Air pollution from greenhouse gases is estimated to have reduced the average lifespan of citizens by an average of one and a half years. We will work through the Green Saudi Initiative to raise vegetation cover, reduce carbon emissions, combat pollution, and land degradation, and preserve marine life.
The Crown Prince indicated that it will include several ambitious initiatives, most notably the planting of 10 billion trees in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the coming decades. This is equivalent to the rehabilitation of about 40 million hectares of degraded land. This means an increase in the area covered by current trees to 12 times, representing a contribution. More than 4% of the targets of the global initiative to reduce land degradation and protect wild habitats have been achieved by the Kingdom. In addition, more than 1% of the global target of planting one trillion trees has been accomplished.
It will also work to raise the percentage of protected areas to more than 30% of its land area, estimated at 600,000 square kilometers. This exceeds the current global target of saving 17% of each country’s land, in addition to many initiatives to safeguard the marine and coastal environment.
The Crown Prince added: “The Green Saudi Initiative will also reduce carbon emissions by more than 4% of global contributions, through renewable energy projects that will provide 50% of electricity production inside the Kingdom by 2030, and projects in the field of clean hydrocarbon technologies that will erase More than 130 million tons of carbon emissions, in addition to raising the rate of diversion of waste from landfills to 94%.”
The crown prince made it clear that the kingdom is determined to make a lasting global impact. Based on its pioneering role, it will start working on the Green Middle East Initiative with the sister countries in the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and the Middle East, and it seeks, in partnership with the brothers in the Middle East countries, to plant an additional 40 billion trees in the Middle East, indicating that the program aims to plant 50 billion trees, which is the largest reforestation program in the world, twice the size of the Great Green Wall in the Sahel (the second largest regional initiative of this kind).
The Crown Prince pointed out that this project will restore an area equivalent to 200 million hectares of degraded land, representing (5%) of the global goal to plant one trillion trees and reduce (2.5%) of global carbon rates.
The Crown Prince added that the share of clean energy production in the Middle East today does not exceed 7%. This is due to the region’s high-efficiency technologies used in oil production. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will work with other countries to transfer knowledge and share experiences, which will contribute to reducing the resulting carbon emissions. He added that these joint efforts will achieve a reduction in carbon emissions by more than 10% of global contributions.
The Crown Prince said these two initiatives are part of the Kingdom’s efforts to improve the environment via the 2030 Vision. This is done by addressing the environmental challenges it has faced in the past, namely high temperatures, low rainfalls, high dust waves, and desertification. This will also enhance its efforts to promote health. The general public and raising the level of quality of life for citizens and residents, as it carried out a comprehensive restructuring of the environment sector, establishing the Special Forces for Environmental Security in 2019, raising the coverage of natural reserves from 4% to more than 14%, and increasing the vegetation cover in the Kingdom by 40% during the past four years, and the Kingdom was able to reach the lowest level in carbon emissions for oil-producing countries, and other initiatives that began on the ground and achieved tangible positive results in the general environmental situation.
The Crown Prince also noted that these two initiatives also come from the Kingdom’s pioneering role towards common international issues, and complement its efforts to protect the planet during its presidency of the Group of Twenty last year, which resulted in the issuance of a special declaration on the environment and the adoption of the concept of a circular carbon economy, and the establishment of the first group Special work for the environment, and the launch of two international initiatives to reduce land degradation and protect coral reefs.
The Crown Prince concluded his speech: “I am proud to announce the Green Saudi Initiative and the Green Middle East Initiative, and this is just the beginning. The Kingdom, the region, and the world at large need to move forward and at an accelerated pace in combating climate change. Given the current situation, embarking on this journey toward a greener future has not been easy. However, in line with our comprehensive development vision, we do not avoid difficult choices. We reject the misguided choice between preserving the economy or protecting the environment. We believe that working to combat climate change boosts competitiveness, sparks innovation, and creates millions of jobs.”
Today, the younger generation in the Kingdom and the world is demanding a cleaner and more sustainable future, and we owe it to them to provide that. In this regard, the Kingdom will work with all its international partners from organizations and countries to develop these two initiatives. These two initiatives will include the initiatives that fall within them, and the timetables for their realization. The Crown Prince added that the Green Saudi Initiative details are still to be announced. In the coming months, he will meet with the international partners of the Green Middle East Initiative to discuss holding. Next year’s Green Initiative will take place in the second quarter.