Saudi energy minister says Kingdom hosting MENA climate week in 2023
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Saturday the Kingdom would host the Middle East and North Africa climate week in 2023.
“We have been talking with UNFCC secretariat and we will be hosting in 2023 the MENA climate week,” the Prince said at a panel at the Saudi Green Initiative event taking place on the sidelines of the COP27 climate conference in Egypt.
The minister also said Saudi Arabia was working on establishing a regional center to advance emission reductions.
The center is set to be launched next year and will be located in Riyadh.
"We have got the approval from the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, ECSWA, and next year we will be kick starting to put that center in the middle of Riyadh," said the minister.
The Prince also revealed that the establishment of a circular carbon economy, or knowledge hub, to kick start on Jan. 1, 2023, in Riyadh.
"We are going to be launching a CCE knowledge hub, with a hope that our friends and peers can join us in sharing the experience, knowledge and to share lessons learned," he added.
The announcement was made during the Saudi Green Initiative on Saturday on the sidelines of COP27.
During the panel, the Prince urged the audience to raise awareness to "the forgotten 2.6 billion citizens" on the planet who try to make a living by burning trees and cooking by using primitive materials to feed their children.
“We should not lose sight of almost a third of the world's population, who if we were not to attend to their wellbeing, we would be actually causing a much more severe climate change issue.”
During the summit, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced that the Kingdom is going to contribute $2.5 billion to the Middle East Green Initiative over the next 10 years and host its headquarters in the Kingdom.
The Saudi Green Initiative program seeks to establish a regional carbon capture and storage center, an early storm warning center and cloud seeding programs as part of its efforts to create a greener future.
On Nov. 10, the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., one of the biggest oil producers in the world, joined hands with the Saudi energy ministry to establish a carbon capture and storage hub as the Kingdom steadily progresses to achieve its net-zero ambition by 2060.
After the announcement of the new project, the energy minister said that the Kingdom could achieve its net-zero target before the stipulated target in 2060.