RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held telephone calls with regional leaders on Sunday to discuss his new environmental initiatives.
The crown prince announced the Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative on Saturday, which include a number of ambitious programs that aim to reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent in the region, and plant 50 billion trees as part of the world’s largest afforestation project.
During the call with Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, the crown prince discussed the initiatives’ aims to enhance the efficiency of oil production and increase the contribution of renewable energy, in addition to multiple efforts to preserve the marine and coastal environment and increase the proportion of natural reserves.
They also reviewed the initiatives’ importance in facing environmental challenges in the region and the world, and its role in improving the quality of life and public health.
In a call with King Hamad of Bahrain, the two sides discussed ways in which the initiatives address the economic and social challenges related to the regional and international environmental situation in a way that contributes to achieving regional sustainable development and enhancing the quality of life of the population.
The crown prince and the Emir of Qatari Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad reviewed the “importance of joint action to meet the environmental challenges that the region has faced for decades, and to develop an ambitious and clear-cut regional road map to address them in all aspects,” Saudi Press Agency reported.
Prince Mohammed also held similar calls with Sudanese President Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to discuss the benefits of the initiatives for the region and the world.
Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Sudan and Iraq congratulated and thanked the crown prince for the initiative and expressed their country’s readiness to work with the Kingdom to achieve its goals.
The Arab League praised the two initiatives which it said “reflect Saudi Arabia’s keenness to play a pioneering role in international issues, and comes as a continuation of its efforts during its presidency of the G20 last year.”
Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the environmental issues addressed by the initiatives are all important priorities on the global agenda in the next stage, adding that it is important for Arab countries to include them in their future development plans.
The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation also praised both initiatives and said: “The Kingdom will lead the initiative in the field of a green environment free of pollution, and the two initiatives come to meet the environmental and economic challenges facing the region, foremost of which are desertification, air pollution from greenhouse gases, and an attempt to preserve marine life.”
Yousef Ahmed Al-Othaimeen also said he valued the partnerships announced by the crown prince with Gulf and Arab countries.