Saudi Arabia, the largest exporter of crude, will aim to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2060, its de facto leader said on Saturday, days before the COP26 world climate summit.
The kingdom, one of the world’s biggest polluters, has said it will also join a global effort to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030.
The United Nations says more than 130 countries have set or are planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, a goal they deem “imperative” to preserve a liveable climate.
“Today I am announcing Saudi Arabia’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2060,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Saudi Green Initiative forum.
COP26 President Alok Sharma welcomed the announcement. “I hope this historic announcement … will galvanize the ambition of others ahead of # COP26,” Sharma tweeted, adding that he was eager to see more details on the Saudi plan.
Shortly thereafter, energy giant Saudi Aramco said it was committed to being a net zero company by 2050. “Saudi Aramco will achieve ambition to also be a net zero of our operations. by 2050, ”Aramco CEO Amin Nasser told the forum.
Separately, Sharma said the success of the upcoming COP26 climate summit is “definitely more difficult” than the 2015 Paris talks which resulted in a historic agreement.
The October 31-November 12 meeting in Glasgow is the largest climate conference since the Paris summit and is seen as crucial in setting global emissions targets to slow global warming.