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The Saudis are changing their climate ambitions

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, wants to reduce net carbon dioxide emissions to zero within 40 years. Staatsolie giant Aramco wants to achieve the same ambition by 2050.

Saudi Arabia has pledged to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from its territory by 2060. This was announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the opening of the climate conference in Riyadh.

“Today we announce that the Kingdom aims to reach net zero by 2060 through a circular economy of carbon, in a manner consistent with our economic development plans,” Prince bin Salman said at the opening of the conference.

Later in the day, the Saudi oil giant Aramco entered into a standoff with Apple As the most valuable company in the world, a little extra. The oil giant plans to achieve complete climate neutrality by 2050. “It is not a contradiction to increase oil production and achieve carbon dioxide neutrality at the same time,” said CEO Amin Nasser. As the CEO said: “Distortion of hydrocarbons is not going to help.” “They will continue to play a critical role in the energy mix in the coming decades.”

Climate ambitions are a radical change in the rhetoric of the world’s largest oil exporter. The government has consistently argued against cutting investment in fossil fuels in the past and has blamed climate activists for higher energy prices this year.

The decision could give a boost to the important COP26 climate talks that begin this month in Glasgow.


Instead, the government is expanding its crude oil production capacity even further – from 12 million to 13 million barrels per day. The project is expected to take six years and cost billions of dollars.

“This decision will be met with skepticism,” said Ben Cahill, a senior official at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). “The transformation of the world’s largest oil exporter into a zero-economy is very strange.”

Saudi Arabia is the tenth largest emitter of carbon dioxide worldwide, and the highest per capita of the G20 countries.

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