Saudi Arabia have their vision set on creating a more sustainable future, announcing two new initiatives to tackle climate challenges such as desertification, which is becoming a profound problem in the region. These initiatives known as ‘Green Saudi’ and ‘Green Middle East’ plan to reduce carbon emissions by 60% and plant 50 billion trees as part of the world’s biggest afforestation project. The tree-planting project will be double the size of the Great Green wall in the Sahel region, the second biggest regional afforestation initiative.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “As a leading global oil producer, we are fully aware of our responsibility in advancing the fight against the climate crisis, and that just as we played a leading role in stabilizing energy markets during the oil and gas era, we will work to lead the coming green era.”
Alongside these projects is the proposition of several other environmental policies, such as the preservation of marine and desert habitats, as well as ’greenifying’ its urban areas. In an area threatened by desertification, the proposition of expanding ‘green space’ brings hope. Studies have long shown the benefits of living in ‘green areas’, with reports showing how they can aid mental and physical health.
There is also hope to increase the percentage of protected land to 30%, beating the global target of 17% per country. Renewable energy projects will play a significant role, it will reduce carbon emissions by more than 4% of global contributions and provide 50% of the regions electricity production by 2030. As a result of using these clean hydrocarbon technologies, it is expected that more than 130 million tons of carbon emissions will be eliminated.