Green Initiatives of Saudi Arabia

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    Recently, Saudi Arabia has launched the ‘Saudi Green Initiative’ and the ‘Middle East Green Initiative’ to combat the threat of climate change.

    Key Highlights

    • This move comes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic which has highlighted the need for collective action among members of the international community to effectively address global challenges such as pandemics and climate change.
    • Saudi Arabia presided over the G20 Summit for 2020 and one of the main pillars of this presidency was to “safeguard the planet”.
    • The Saudi leadership of the summit highlighted how climate change had negatively impacted the planet, people’s lives and their well-being.
    • Saudi Arabia currently operates the largest carbon capture and utilisation plant in the world.
      • It turns half a million tonnes of CO2 annually into products such as fertilizers and methanol.
    • It also operates one of the region’s most advanced CO2-enhanced oil recovery plants.
      • It captures and stores 8,00,000 tonnes of CO2 annually and plans are afoot to deploy additional carbon capture, utilisation and storage infrastructure.
    • In February 2019, it joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) during the Crown Prince’s state visit to India.
      • The move promoted cooperation in the renewable energy sector.
    • Saudi Green Initiative
      • It aims to raise the vegetation cover, reduce carbon emissions, combat pollution and land degradation, and preserve marine life.
      • Under it, 10 billion trees will be planted in the Kingdom.
      • It will reduce carbon emissions by more than 4 per cent of global contributions, through a renewable energy programme that will generate 50 per cent of Saudi’s energy from renewables by 2030 (Vision 2030).
    • Middle East Green Initiative
      • Under it, Saudi Arabia will work with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and regional partners to plant an additional 40 billion trees in the West Asian region to reduce 2.5 per cent of global carbon levels.
      • Saudi Arabia has been sharing its expertise and know-how with its neighbouring countries to reduce carbon emissions resulting from hydrocarbon production in the region by 60 per cent and globally by 10 per cent.
      • Under it, the annual summit will host leaders from the government, scientists and environmentalists to discuss the details of implementation.
    • Vision 2030
      • It is a comprehensive road map to improve the quality of life of the citizens of the country and was unveiled in 2016.
      • Under it, the nation carried out a comprehensive restructuring of the environmental sector and established the Environmental Special Forces in 2019.
      • NEOM and the Line (proposed smart cities under the Vision) has already redefined the idea of sustainable habitats.
    G20

    • It was established in September 1999 as a consultation forum between Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the world’s major economies.
    • Following the 2008 economic crisis, it became a forum between Heads of State and Government.
    • It comprises 19 countries and the European Union (EU), with representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB).
      • 19 Countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, and the US.
    • It is a mix of the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies, representing about 60 per cent of the world’s population, 85 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 75 per cent of global trade.
    • Aim: To improve coordination on major global issues and to enable informal dialogue and cooperation among important countries in the world.
    • Major G20 Environment Related Initiatives
      • Global Coral Reef Research and Development Accelerator Platform to accelerate scientific knowledge and technology development in support of coral reef survival, conservation, resilience, adaptation and restoration.
      • Circular Carbon Economy (CCE) Platform as a tool towards affordable, reliable, and secure energy and economic growth.
    • Since 1st December 2020, Italy has held the Presidency, which will culminate in the Leaders’ Summit, which will be held in Rome on 30th-31st October 2021.

    India’s Initiatives for Tackling Climate Change

    • India has made remarkable commitments to tackle climate change and is on track to achieve its Paris Agreement targets.
    • India’s renewable energy capacity is the fourth largest in the world.
    • India has an ambitious target of achieving 450 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
    • Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), announced in 2017 to pool best practices and resources from around the world for reshaping construction, transportation, energy, telecommunication and water.
    • India-France joint initiative of International Solar Alliance (ISA) with an aim to reduce carbon foot-print.
    • Various National Schemes like National Action Plan on Climate Change, National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), National Biofuel Policy, etc.

    Source: TH