RIYADH: Gulf countries have outlined plans for a joint approach to tackle climate change at a virtual seminar organized by Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council.
Shoura Council members and national representatives from Gulf Cooperation Council countries, as well as officials from the Kingdom’s Ministry of Energy and National Center of Meteorology, took part in the seminar, which was held under the theme “GCC joint policies to implement the Middle East Green Initiative to face the repercussions of climate change.”
Ibrahim bin Mahmoud Al-Nahas, director of the seminar and a member of the Kingdom’s Shoura Council, described the virtual forum as an extension of Saudi Arabia’s leading role at international, regional and local levels in the face of climate change.
“This role was materialized through the Saudi Green and Middle East Green initiatives, launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. These two initiatives were highly praised and internationally recognized, given their lofty goals in terms of conservation of nature and facing the challenges of climate change,” he said.
As a result of the seminar Gulf councils and related entities will be able to exchange information to jointly contribute to the implementation of the Middle East Green initiative, he said.
Council member Saud Al-Ruwaili submitted a working paper reviewing the Kingdom’s initiatives to deal with the climate crisis and highlighted the Kingdom’s commitment to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2060.
Al-Ruwaili said that the Shoura Council’s oversight and legislative role could help in efforts to address the dangers of climate change.
Participants in the seminar called for the oversight role of the legislative councils to be strengthened, and laws and regulations to be updated to help protect the environment.
A concerted effort by GCC countries was needed to meet the global challenge of climate change, they said.
Participants discussed the importance of preserving the environment as one of the pillars of sustainable development and warned that combating climate change is a priority given its close association with community stability.
The seminar examined initiatives to cut greenhouse gas emissions, increase vegetation cover, and develop policies and programs to deal with climate change.