UN chief praises KSA’s investment in renewables

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that if we fail to change course by 2020, we will no longer be able to avoid uncontrolled climate change. (AFP)
Updated 12 September 2018
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UN chief praises KSA’s investment in renewables

  • We need to curb deadly greenhouse gas emissions, push climate action, and swiftly shift away from our dependence on fossil fuel

JEDDAH: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on other rich nations to follow the example of the Kingdom in investing in renewables, during a speech in which he warned of the dire consequences of failing to tackle climate change and the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.
He said: “We need to curb deadly greenhouse gas emissions, push climate action, and swiftly shift away from our dependence on fossil fuel,” urging the world’s rich countries to diversify their economies. In a speech on climate change at the UN permanent headquarters in New York before the Global Climate Action Summit, to be held in San Francisco from Sept. 12 to 14, the secretary-general said that the world is facing a “direct existential threat.”
He warned that if we fail to change course by 2020, we will no longer be able to avoid uncontrolled climate change, and its accompanying dire consequences for people and natural systems.
A report published last Wednesday concluded that switching to renewable energy will not only save money but will also create new jobs, waste less water, boost food production and clean polluted air that kills people.


Cirque du Soleil prepares ground-breaking show in King Fahd Stadium

Updated 21 September 2018
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Cirque du Soleil prepares ground-breaking show in King Fahd Stadium

RIYADH: A joint press conference between the MBC Group, the General Entertainment Authority, and Cirque du Soleil was held at King Fahd Stadium on Thursday afternoon to answer media questions and give some details about Cirque du Soleil’s upcoming special performance, part of Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day celebrations. The show is slated to be one of the biggest performed by the Cirque and their first in Saudi Arabia. It is a one-night-only, exclusive event, designed especially for this occasion.
Daniel Fortin, vice president of Creation at Cirque du Soleil, teased the audience with a few details of the upcoming show. “With a cast and crew of over 300, this is one of the biggest shows we’ve ever done,” he said.
“Without giving too much of the plot away, the story is centered around the sun, and takes place from sunset to sunrise. Everything from the costumes to the stage props was created as a homage to Saudi culture. You’ll see a lot of Bedouin influences in the staging and in the music. We drew inspiration from a variety of sources, such as traditional Bedouin tents, desert scenery, even the stadium itself.”
The show has been in development for six months, and the cast and crew have been preparing for the show at the King Fahd International Stadium since the beginning of August.
The show will contain new technology, and 16 unprecedented acrobatic acts. However, Fortin refused to share too many details. “You’ll just have to see what we have planned at the show.” He said. “But I think you will be impressed. We’re doing things we’ve never done before.”
Tickets to the show sold out in less than 48 hours after their release; an incredible feat as the show has allocated more than 27,000 seats for the performance. Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, spokesperson for the General Entertainment Authority, was pleased— but not entirely surprised— by the public’s reaction to news of the show. “We felt that variety in the types of events we brought to Saudi Arabia was important,” he said, “and we conducted a number of research workshops to determine what sort of events would be well-received by the public. Cirque du Soleil was mentioned frequently in our research, so we’re very happy to have had the opportunity to bring them here.”
MBC head of events Omar Al Radi also expects a big response to the televising of the show, which he estimates will break records. “We’re broadcasting the show live on both our local and international channels, such as those in Europe and in America.” he said.
“We’re expecting over 200 million views. Probably record-breaking numbers. MBC is proud to have been part of bringing this historic event to Saudi Arabia, and we can’t wait for you to see it.”