Crown Prince launches series of regional initiatives for climate action at MEGI Summit

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RIYADH — Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, announced a series of regional programs for climate action to an audience of dozens of heads of state from across the MENA region at the Middle East Green Initiative Summit here.

“Today, we are ushering in a new green era for the region; in which we are collectively leading and reaping its fruits, in our joint belief that the effects of climate change are not limited to the natural environment only, but also to the economy and security of our nations.”

In continuance of the Kingdom’s leading role in the development of global energy markets, Crown Prince announced the establishment of a fund to invest in Carbon Circular Economy technology solutions for the region.

This is in addition to a regional initiative that contributes to providing solutions for “clean” energy sources for cooking to more than 750 million people in the world. “These two initiatives are valued at roughly SR39 billion, and the Kingdom will contribute roughly 15% in funding that.”

“We will also work with countries, regional and global development banks to discuss funding and execution solutions to these initiatives,” he said.

Crown Prince announced that Saudi Arabia will establish a Cooperative Platform to implement the concepts of Circular Carbon Economy (CCE), a regional hub for climate change, develop a regional center for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), a regional center for early warning of storms; a regional center for sustainable development of fisheries; and a regional cloud seeding program.

These centers and programs will play a major role in establishing the necessary infrastructure to protect the environment, reduce emissions and raise the level of regional coordination.

He also announced the establishment of the Green Initiative Foundation, as a non-profit organization to support the agenda of the summit, to raise the level of coordination.

“Saudi Arabia believes that traditional energy sources were the primary reason for the transformation underwent by the regional and global countries from traditional agricultural economies to globally active economies and the catalyst towards the fastest economic growth ever known to mankind,” Crown Prince said.

“Despite that, we believe that climate change is an economic opportunity for our citizens and the private sector, which, stimulated by the Middle East Green Initiative, will create quality jobs and encourage innovation in the region.”

“We gather at this summit to join forces and coordinate our efforts to protect the environment, confront climate change, and develop a roadmap towards reducing carbon emissions in the region by more than 10% of global contribution, and plant 50 billion trees in the region, though the largest tree-planting program globally, this will contribute to achieving 5% of the global target for afforestation.”

“Today, in the first edition of this summit, we aim to work together to develop a regional road map and a framework to enable the achievement of these ambitious targets,” Crown Prince said.

“There are gaps in the regional climate action system. And through coordinating regional efforts and sharing experiences and technologies, we can accelerate achievements in our initiatives.”

Crown Prince said facing climate change requires us to jointly work towards developing advanced technologies and creating the appropriate environment to finance them, preserving our region’s natural treasures, and strengthening our cooperation.

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