Greenpeace MENA is concerned that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s announcement of its pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2060, lacks a serious commitment to reduce emissions but rather entrenches its economy in its dependency on fossil fuels.

Greenpeace MENA’s campaigns manager, Ahmad El Droubi declared: “Seeing this commitment coming from KSA, one of the top five oil-producing countries in the world and the highest per capita emissions among the G20 countries, demonstrates that the climate emergency is being recognised more and more as a global priority.”

He continued:”The stipulations of the announcement are of great concern as they focus on an array of false solutions, such as CCS whose viability at scale remains largely unproven and its potential to deliver significant emission reductions by the mid-century is currently limited. Safe, permanent, and verifiable storage of CO2 is difficult to guarantee and there are many hidden climate impacts of such technologies.” He added:”The proposition of increased dependence on natural gas and development of a hydrogen economy, based primarily on it, are also of great concern; blue hydrogen relies on CCS and also maintains the status quo of dependency on fossil fuels, according to a recent study the total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions are only 9%-12% less than for grey hydrogen”

El Droubi continued: “We question the seriousness of this announcement, as it comes in parallel with plans for the Kingdom to increase its oil production from 12 million barrels per day to 13 million barrels per day and seems to simply be a strategic move to alleviate political pressure ahead of COP26.”

He concluded: “climate change is a global threat that requires a global reduction of carbon emissions, hence fossil fuel exporting countries have a responsibility beyond their national borders. We urge KSA to stop expanding their investment in oil and gas at home and abroad. The region has an abundance of renewable energy potential. There are faster, cleaner, safer, more efficient, and cheaper means that exist to reduce CO2 emissions. It is vital that they prioritise phasing out fossil fuels and replacing them with renewable energy, as well as investing in energy efficiency, and adapt living standards to prioritise energy conservation.

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