Saudi Arabia’s grandiose climate plans struggle to take off. Promising that the world’s largest oil exporter would lead the ‘next green era’, Prince Mohammed pledged that 50% of Saudi Arabia’s electricity production would come from renewables by 2030, with the remaining 50% being gas powered. Riyadh is also believed to plant 10 billion trees in the desert country over the next few decades. But as with many of the prince’s ambitious plans, skeptics wonder if his rhetoric will be matched with tangible action on the ground. The kingdom burns around 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to power its electrical system, a figure that rises sharply during the scorching summer months when the Saudis rely on air conditioning to keep them cool. The Climate Action Tracker, an independent research group, rates Saudi Arabia’s climate commitments as “critically insufficient”, citing a lack of policies or clear data on its emissions.
FT 30th Aug 2021 read more »