SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: Nature-based solutions to climate challenges are important and somewhat overlooked globally, particularly remedies that Saudi Arabia have been championing, say experts.
The Riyadh-based King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, in cooperation with the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology, released two reports last week on the matter at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, in Egypt. The solutions focused on the 4Rs of the circular carbon economy which are reduce, reuse, recycle and remove.
“Most people know about the technological type of solutions, carbon capture and storage, putting it into underground aquifers, using it for enhanced oil recovery, direct air capture, and so on,” Adam Sieminski, senior adviser to the board of trustees at KAPSARC, told Arab News.
“But nature-based solutions also fall under this ‘remove’ category, and they’re very, very important, and they are going to be part of everything that Saudi Arabia is doing to put as many opportunities on the table to deal with greenhouse gas emissions as can be done,” he added
Sieminski said the announcements that Saudi Arabia made during COP27 and the Saudi Green Initiative Forum were critical for the future, which included mangrove restoration. He highlighted the plans by Aramco and the Ministry of Energy to build a carbon capture and storage hub in the Eastern Province, and the Public Investment Fund’s initiative to establish a carbon trading platform. “All of these things are going to add very much to the ‘lead by example’ credibility that the Kingdom has been showing.”
KAPSARC, an energy and sustainability think tank, offers research, analysis, consulting and modeling on topics such as oil and gas, utilities, urban transportation, environment, and climate, with a focus on the circular carbon economy.
The think tank also released the second version of its Circular Carbon Economy Index, which was launched during the second edition of the SGI Forum that was held on the sidelines of COP 27. It measures the performance of countries around the world on how they are reducing, reusing, recycling and removing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from the environment. The first version was launched at the previous COP26 in Glasgow last year.
“KAPSARC hopes to continue to play a role in providing good, non-biased, fact-based research and analysis on climate challenges ... that will help to provide a good basis for policymakers and the policies that are debated and put in place at the COP meetings,” he said.
Sieminski also noted the importance of Vision 2030 for the Kingdom. “KAPSARC is trying to provide sort of the fact-based underlying work to show how Vision 2030 can be accomplished in a positive way for both energy sustainability and the economy, and this is ultimately, I think, going to be a good thing, not just for Saudi Arabia, but for the world.”