Saudi Arabia committed to tackling climate change, says Crown Prince

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman at a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan June 29, 2019. (Reuters/Handout)
Updated 01 July 2019

Saudi Arabia committed to tackling climate change, says Crown Prince

  • Prince Mohammed said that the Kingdom is working to develop a comprehensive and integrated energy-saving system
  • Added availability of and accessibility to energy is a priority for the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is committed to “reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the negative effects of climate change,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said at the G20 summit that ended on Saturday in Osaka, Japan.
Prince Mohammed said that the Kingdom is working to develop a comprehensive and integrated energy-saving system through energy efficiency programs.
He also said that the Kingdom has recently launched several projects aimed at increasing the production of renewable energy, and that integrating and exploiting all energy sources is a necessity.
The crown prince continued by saying that due to Saudi Arabia’s pivotal role in the world economy, the availability of and accessibility to energy is a priority for the Kingdom.
He added that due to more than a billion people not having a permanent source of energy around the world, the Kingdom stresses the need for cooperation on this issue and the support of less developed countries. He cited the 2008 Energy for the Poor Initiative as an example of this.
Prince Mohammed added that the Kingdom emphasizes the importance of the security and safety of energy supplies to ensure that the basic needs of the global economy are met.


Saudi labor minister urges Kingdom to increase economic role of charity sector

Updated 1 min 15 sec ago

Saudi labor minister urges Kingdom to increase economic role of charity sector

  • Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi said: “Our effort is to increase the share of the non-profit sector in GDP”

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia needed to increase the contribution of the non-profit sector to the Kingdom’s economic and social development, the country’s labor minister told business conference delegates on Thursday.

Moderating a session on the subject during the final day of the Riyadh Economic Forum (REF), Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi said: “Our effort is to increase the share of the non-profit sector in GDP.”

Describing the non-profit sector as the third pillar of sustainable economic development, the minister pointed out that in developed countries its average contribution toward GDP had reached 6 percent.

Referring to a REF study on the sector, he noted that it was only during the last decade that the Kingdom had come to realize its important role in economic development, social participation, job creation, and promoting the culture of teamwork.

“The non-profit sector contributes to Saudi Arabia’s GDP by one percent and our effort is to increase the share,” Al-Rajhi told the session’s attendees.

Presenting the REF study, Yousef bin Othman Al-Huzeim, secretary-general of Al-Anoud Charitable Foundation, said: “This sector, together with its substantial developmental roles, has become a criterion for the overall progress of nations and a yardstick of their civilization and humanitarian activity rather than a mere indicator of individuals’ income.”

He added that the sector had a key part to play in helping to realize the Saudi Vision 2030 goal of achieving sustainable development through diversification, and that the aim was to raise its level of contribution to the country’s GDP from 1 percent to 5 percent by 2030.

The study stressed the need to transform the sector from a mere initiative into an institutional entity concerned with social investment and integration, in cooperation with the public and private sectors.

Among its key findings, the study highlighted the requirement to increase the awareness of sector employees and supervising agencies about the development needs of society.

A lack of detailed information on the non-profit sector in the Kingdom was also having a negative effect on the extent of its contribution to economic and social development, the study found.

The media too had failed to give enough coverage to the sector and rules and regulations often stood in the way of any expansion in individual and community partnerships through charities and trusts.

Princess Nouf bint Mohammed Al-Saud, CEO of the King Khalid Foundation (KKF), said women were the most important enablers of the non-profit sector.

Currently, the most prominent development was the system of NGOs and philanthropic associations, and the stimulation of the sector to implement good governance, she added.

The princess urged the lifting of restrictions on money transfers to the non-profit sector and tax exemptions on charities and donations.

The KKF had issued a number of regulations to help the non-profit sector, she said, but there was still a need for the creation of more executive programs in order to realize Vision 2030 goals.

Rajaa bin Manahi Al-Marzouqi, a professor of economics at Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies, in Riyadh, said: “If we look at any economy, it consists of three important sectors, which are the government, private, and non-profit sectors. There is a need to develop the non-profit sector in such a way that it sustains in the long run and contributes to socio-economic development.”