Saudi Arabia to set target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2060

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Prince Mohammed bin Salman says kingdom will aim to halve the rate of global carbon emissions growth until 2030, then reduce it to zero by 2060

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, aims to achieve a net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, the country’s oil minister Khalid al-Falih said at the World Climate Summit in Paris on Friday.

Saudi Arabia is facing international pressure to move towards a low-carbon economy, as it tries to diversify its economy away from oil.

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Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was also the Saudi minister of state at the summit, confirmed his country’s commitment to a global agreement reached in December last year that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero “as soon as practically possible”.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will aim to halve the rate of global carbon emissions growth until 2030, before progressively reducing it to zero by 2060,” he said.

“This translates into zero net carbon emissions – the reduction in carbon emissions, if any, will be zero.”

He added: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is developing comprehensive national programs that will allow us to reach these goals and even exceed them.”

The Crown Prince said the kingdom, with investments of $80bn in renewable and nuclear energy, was investing in technologies that would “stabilise and reduce greenhouse gas emissions”.

“We are always focusing on efficiency in our power generation and other uses of energy,” he said.

“We have made big strides in the last decade to develop renewable and nuclear energy and will continue to make sure we can boost our renewable development and build new capacities.”

A senior adviser to King Salman said last month that the kingdom had scrapped plans to build more nuclear power plants.

The crown prince said global emissions of greenhouse gases should peak “around 2030” and would decline beyond 2050.

“However, emissions will not be stable after that point, and there are issues of peak and decline, they will peak again with continuing growth in the developing countries,” he said.

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