Saudi Arabia Announces To Reach “Net-Zero” Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 2060

Story Highlights
  • Saudi Arabia commits to net-zero emissions by 2060.
  • The government to increase its crude-production capacity to 13 million barrels per day.
  • The United Arab Emirates became the first Persian Gulf nation to neutralize its emissions by 2050.

Dubai: Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s top oil producers, stated on Saturday that it aspires to achieve “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2060, joining a worldwide campaign involving more than 100 countries to combat man-made climate change. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made the announcement at the start of the kingdom’s first-ever Saudi Green Initiative Forum.

Despite efforts to diversify away from reliance on fossil fuels for revenue, the kingdom’s oil and gas exports remain the backbone of its economy. Because the net-zero target only applies to territorial emissions, it does not necessarily imply that Saudi Arabia must limit its oil production. According to UN accounting regulations, those produced when the kingdom’s oil is consumed in cars, factories, and power plants outside the country will not be counted.

Instead, the government is working to expand its crude-production capacity to 13 million barrels per day, up from 12 million. The project will take six years and cost billions of dollars to complete.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s tenth greatest carbon dioxide emitter, and the highest per capita among the G-20 countries. Reaching net-zero would involve abruptly reversing a two-decade trend of rising emissions. Nonetheless, the new aim coincides with a shift among major petrostates. The United Arab Emirates made history this month by becoming the first country in the Persian Gulf to commit to carbon neutrality by 2050. Russia was next, less than a week later, with President Vladimir Putin setting a 2060 deadline.

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