LONDON: The UK on Wednesday welcomed ambitious green initiatives announced by Saudi Arabia that aim to reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent in the region.
The Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday call for partnerships with countries to face environmental challenges in the region, and include the largest afforestation project to restore around 40 million hectares of degraded land.
“We welcome Saudi Arabia’s plan to plant 10 billion trees, combat pollution and preserve marine life as an important step in their climate ambition,” said UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
We welcome Saudi Arabia's plan to plant 10 billion trees, combat pollution & preserve marine life as an important step in their climate ambition. As COP26 President we'll work with Saudi Arabia to support their drive to protect the planet ahead of @COP26.
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) March 31, 2021
The initiatives also aim to improve the efficiency of oil production and increase the contribution of renewable energy, in addition to stepping up efforts to preserve the marine and coastal environment.
” As COP26 President we’ll work with Saudi Arabia to support their drive to protect the planet ahead of” the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference that Britain is hosting in early November.
Meanwhile, James Cleverly, UK minister for the Middle East and North Africa, described the commitment from Saudi Arabia on climate action as “positive.”
Cleverly also said that the UK will work closely with the Saudi leadership “to secure green growth,” adding that London looked forward to cooperating with Riyadh at COP26.
This week’s commitment from Saudi Arabia on climate action, including the announcement of a Saudi Green and Middle East Green initiative, is positive.
We’ll work closely with the Saudi leadership to secure green growth as we look forward to @COP26
— James Cleverly (@JamesCleverly) March 30, 2021
Since the announcement, the crown prince has made several calls to regional leaders to discuss the initiatives. Leaders have said their countries are ready to support the Kingdom.
On Tuesday, the UN said that it is following the Saudi efforts with “great interest.”
Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that the UN is looking forward to hearing more from the Kingdom and G20 members on April 22 during the next “milestone” meeting organized by the US.