Saudi Arabia commits $2.5bn for Middle East Green Initiative
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Saudi Arabia commits $2.5bn for Middle East Green Initiative

Saudi Arabia commits $2.5bn for Middle East Green Initiative

The Middle East Green Initiative was launched by the Crown Prince last year as part of efforts to reduce regional carbon emissions

Zubina Ahmed
Saudi Arabia commits $2.5 bn for Middle East Green Initiative

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz announced that the kingdom will commit $2.5bn for the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) over the next 10 years.

The second edition of the MGI summit started in conjunction with the COP27 conference being held in Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh. It was launched by the Crown Prince last year as part of efforts to reduce regional carbon emissions.

The summit lays out a clear plan for regional climate action, assuring coordinated efforts and a cohesive approach to address climate change. The initiative also enables development of significant economic opportunities in the region, which supports the advancement of economic diversification, job creation, and sustainable development.

The countries taking part in the summit aim to accomplish the regional objectives set by the kingdom, which include planting 50 billion trees in the region as part of the world’s largest tree-planting initiative and reducing carbon emissions in the region by more than 10 per cent of global contributions.

In his opening address the Saudi Crown Prince said: “If we are to achieve the desired objectives of the ambitious Middle East Green Initiative, continued regional cooperation and active contributions by member countries are needed to achieve global climate goals and accelerate the implementation commitments as part of international agreements.”

He added, “Two goals guide the summit’s climate action roadmap. The first goal focuses on emissions reduction and serves to support efforts across the region to reduce emissions by 670 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). The second goal is to plant 50 billion trees across the region, which will rehabilitate 200 million hectares of degraded land, helping reduce emissions by 2.5 per cent of current global levels.”

He further announced that as part of Saudi Arabia’s national emission reduction targets, and the implementation of the Circular Carbon Economy approach, the kingdom will deploy of one of the largest Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) hubs in the world. This will capture 44 million tons of CO2e, equivalent to 15 per cent of the kingdom’s current nationally determined contributions (NDC), by 2035.

He also stated that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) will aim to reach net zero by 2050, the first sovereign wealth fund in the Middle East and one of the first globally to do so.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi emphasised that the MGI summit represents an excellent opportunity to strengthen cooperation among its member states in order to mobilise more investments and provide new mechanisms for innovative financing to address climate change.

The Crown Prince of Jordan, Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II, stated that his country participated in various technical meetings related to the initiative, believing in its importance with national plans aimed at alleviating the effects of climate change, reducing desertification and land degradation in Jordan.

James Cleverly, UK secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs drew attention to the effects of climate change on the Middle East, including dust storms, forest fires and floods that swept a number of countries, expressing hope for the success of the Green Middle East initiative to make the future more sustainable.

The MGI Summit is a first-of-its-kind, strategic regional platform designed to accelerate the region’s green transition, stimulate economic development and build a more sustainable future. Held simultaneously with COP27, the summit epitomises Saudi Arabia’s commitment to collaborating for a greener future for all.

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