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  27 Oct 2021, 16:29

Saudi could go carbon-neutral before 2060, minister says


   

   RIYADH, Oct 27, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Saudi Arabia could go carbon neutral 
before its 2060 target if technology evolves quickly enough, its energy 
minister said on Wednesday, days before the COP26 climate summit.

  Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said new processes enabling the "circular 
carbon economy" -- a concept where waste carbon is captured and repurposed -- 
were key to the world's top oil exporter achieving net zero.

  The desert kingdom, also one of the world's biggest polluters, is heavily 
promoting the virtues of the circular carbon economy (CCE) at the Future 
Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, an elite business gathering 
dubbed "Davos in the desert".

  "CCE first and foremost depends on the evolution of technology," the 
minister told the conference, describing 2060 as a "dynamic baseline".

  "Actually, if technology evolves even faster, we may not have to wait until 
2060. It could bring it earlier."

  On Saturday, Saudi Arabia pledged to go carbon neutral by 2060. Two days 
later it announced a billion-dollar contribution to initiatives to fund the 
circular carbon economy and provide "clean" fuel for the world's poor.

  The United Nations says more than 130 countries have set or are considering 
a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by mid-century, an 
objective it says is "imperative" to safeguard a liveable climate.

  World leaders will gather in Glasgow from Sunday for the UN's COP26, a 
historic summit billed as humanity's "last best chance" to get devastating 
climate change under control. 

  "The most daunting challenge that we are all faced with is climate change," 
the energy minister said, before adding that he did not expect any drop in 
demand for oil.

  "I still argue it would not happen," he said.

  Oil production remains the fundamental plank of Saudi energy policy. This 
month, state-owned giant Saudi Aramco said it planned to raise production by 
a million barrels a day by 2027.
 

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