Riyadh, Oct 24 (IANS): Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has inaugurated the annual Saudi Green Initiative Forum in the capital Riyadh.
He announced the introduction of the first package of initiatives representing investments worth more than 700 billion Saudi Riyals ($186 billion), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The initiatives outlined a roadmap for protecting the environment and confronting climate change, and will contribute to the development of the green economy, create quality jobs and provide significant investment opportunities for the private sector, Xinhua news agency quoted the Crown Prince as saying on Saturday.
In the first phase of afforestation initiatives, more than 450 million trees will be planted with 8 million hectares of degraded lands rehabilitated, he revealed.
Mohammed bin Salman also highlighted the plans to transform Riyadh into one of the most sustainable cities in the world.
Energy-related initiatives were designed to reduce Saudi Arabia's carbon emissions by 278 million tonnes annually by 2030, more than doubling the kingdom's target, according to the crown prince.
The Kingdom launched the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) and Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) in March 2021 to protect the environment in the kingdom and the region.
Meanwhile, Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz announced that the Kingdom's goal is to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2060.
He confirmed that the goal shouldn't have an adverse financial or economic impact on oil exporters, expecting his country to be a model in producing all energy sources, with efforts to make gas and renewable energy each account for 50 per cent in the kingdom's energy mix by 2030.
Saudi Arabia will join the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to reduce methane emissions globally by 30 per cent, the Minister said.
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said that the Saudi Green Initiative Forum rallies the climate action ecosystem to achieve ambitious national targets.
The forum focuses on advancing toward the achievement of global targets and helping catalyse climate action in a regionally and internationally coordinated manner.