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Saudi Green Initiative conference to conclude


Saudi Green Initiative conference to conclude

Marwan Naamani AFP
Photo: Marwan Naamani/AFP

The three-day Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) conference will conclude today.

The SGI—a component of the broader Middle East Green Initiative—is a program spearheaded by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) to lead the Middle East in its fight against climate change. Under the initiative, Saudi Arabia has vowed to reduce net emissions to zero by 2060 and invest $187 billion in green development while ensuring oil market stability.

Despite these ostensible aims, Saudi Arabia was one of the nations recently exposed to be covertly lobbying the UN to downplay the dangers of fossil fuels and remove language that suggested an immediate shift away from them. The leaks will paint Saudi Arabia in a poor light ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) on October 31 and cast doubts on MBS’ goal of making his country an international leader in the fight against climate change.

Expect Riyadh to continue to push their stated agenda of more green energy at COP26, regardless of these leaks. Likewise, Saud’s lobbying efforts are likely to be denounced by many in the international community, but the world’s continued economic reliance on fossil fuels will likely temper debate and prevent official calls for total divestment.

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