RIYADH: “Feelings and emotions” are dominating the debate around climate change instead of logic and science, the Saudi envoy of climate affairs has warned as he said fossil fuels will be around for decades.
Adel Al-Jubeir used an interview with Asharq to insist the technology to tackle global warming exists, but the dialogue around energy transition needs to be “logical, scientifically grounded, and free of sentiment.”
He insisted renewable energy will fill the void as the world's needs increase and fossil fuels are unable to meet them, but traditional sources will still play a vital role.
“The world needs energy. We must find non-oil resources. We must search for alternative energy that we can use in the future,” said Al-Jubeir., before later adding: “The debate that occurs regarding climate change unfortunately depends a lot on feelings and emotions and not on logic or science.”
He went on: “The technology exists to deal with climate change and deal with the environment, the capital is there to support these projects if they are developed, but what is missing in the dialogue is a logical dialogue based on realistic foundations and far from feeling.”
Al-Jubeir argued the emotional dialogue and feelings regarding discussions of climate change and the environment, “do not Iead to anything, as it may lead to taking advantage of it for short-term internal political matters, but it does not serve to improve the climate or the environment.”
This requires global solidarity, as no country alone can face climate change, he explained.
Highlighting Saudi Arabia’s commitment to green policies, Al-Jubeir flagged up the Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative, as well as the Kingdom’s more than 60 climate-related strategies to fight desertification, plant trees, deal with waste, and develop renewable energy.
He added that there is an initiative to allocate up to 30 percent of the country as protected places, and air quality measurement centers have been established at the Kingdom's maritime borders.
The Kingdom's climate-related initiatives are constantly being evaluated, as the ceiling can be raised, and this has already been achieved with regard to methane emissions, Al-Jubeir said.
Sums allocated by the Kingdom to various initiatives are enormous, which indicates its quest to improve the planet we live on, the official said.
“We must deal with challenges seriously and logically to correct the negative effects that occurred during the 140 years since the start of the industrial revolution,” he said.
Green and blue hydrogen
Saudi Arabia is working to be the first country to produce green and blue hydrogen, as it considers itself an exporter of energy, not just oil, Al-Jubeir said.
The Kingdom is building the largest green hydrogen plant in the NEOM region, and has announced its intention to become the leading country in the manufacture of green hydrogen and blue hydrogen, he
Saudi Arabia is considering, within its plans, how to export this substance and deliver it to consumers, he said.