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Saudi Arabia and the World’s Battle Against Climate Change
The Line - a proposed smart city in Saudi Arabia in Neom, Tabuk that will have no cars, no streets, and no carbon emissions - will be able to house a million residents and will preserve 95% of the natural environment. (Saudi Press Agency)

Saudi Arabia and the World’s Battle Against Climate Change

Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 25

President Joe Biden’s climate summit concluded last week after leaders of 40 countries attended virtual talks organized by the White House. Among the leaders in attendance was the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, who participated in the discussions together with a delegation of high-ranking Saudi officials. In his opening speech, the king — may God protect him — remarked that “the threat of climate change doesn’t recognize national borders and threatens all peoples equally; therefore, sustainable development requires a comprehensive methodology that takes into account the various developmental conditions around the world.” The king also referred to the role that the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 will play in helping reduce carbon emissions and confronting rising global temperatures, whose impacts have begun to appear dramatically in recent years as the world has witnessed notable natural disasters brought about by fluctuating temperatures. The king also mentioned the crown prince’s “Green Saudi Initiative,” aimed at reversing environmental degradation and climate change through an extensive reforestation project and a transition to the use of renewable energy resources. The kingdom’s interest in environmental issues stems from its leadership position in the Middle East, which is one of the regions of the world most dramatically affected by climate change. By taking on a leadership role on environmental issues, Saudi Arabia is able to chart the way for other Arab nations who will hopefully follow suit and implement environmental reforms. And as a leading global producer of oil, Saudi Arabia understands its responsibility in advancing the battle against climate change through a stabilization of global energy markets. Saudi Arabia can serve as an exceptional role model for other energy-producing nations around the world, as they transition away from traditional energy resources and begin to develop greener and cleaner technologies. This battle can only be won through international cooperation, and Saudi Arabia is doing its part in setting an example for other nations both in the Middle East and in the rest of the world. – Ali Al-Khashaban (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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