Saudi Arabia announces $ 1 billion for climate initiatives

The green era will find its way to a climate neutral Saudi Arabia in 2060


Countries like Saudi Arabia have so far been seen as a roadblock on achieving climate neutrality. An official U-turn has taken place in Saudi Arabia since October 2021.

The country now wants to usher in a green era. This decision was announced directly by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia wants to be climate neutral by 2060. The costs for this project are funded with up to one billion dollars.

Instead of countries that make promises but don’t necessarily have a clear plan in mind, the desert state is not lacking in financial resources. The new era starts with the planting of 450 million trees.

Spread over the next few decades, these trees are intended to bring the negative footprint in terms of emissions to a more balanced level. It remains to be seen what other projects Saudi Arabia will present to cope with this great task.


The country cannot ignore the signs of climate change either


When it comes to climate change, people prefer to talk about countries that threaten to be swallowed up by rising sea levels. Desert states like Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, face a no less threatening scenario.

With a high rise in temperature, this region can become less and less suitable as a habitat for people. If people flee from these conditions, sooner or later the country’s oil industry would also come to a standstill.

Acting today in order to remain relevant not only as a business partner in the future is a factor that is necessary for Saudi Arabia on several levels.


Saudi Arabia has been striving for years to improve its image in the West


Announcing the green era a few days before an international climate summit is another move that Saudi Arabia is working to polish its own image. In recent years, public work has been carried out to present itself to a modern attitude towards life more openly than it corresponds to the tradition of the country. Saudi Arabia wants to attract the attention of both investors and tourists at the same time.

For this purpose, Formula 1 tracks are built or women are allowed to compete against each other at WWE wrestling events. The green era is a further step towards rapprochement with the West without bringing about a complete upheaval in social life.

Previous criticisms of Saudi Arabia, which have a legitimate origin, should not be forgotten despite this positive news.


Young generations are more willing to turn their backs on oil


It’s no secret that Saudi Arabia’s economy is largely based on the country’s oil reserves. In the past it was not a problem to find buyers for this product. Younger generations are increasingly critical of the dependence on oil and the associated negative consequences for the environment.

In order to maintain the country’s current wealth, it is imperative for Saudi Arabia to broaden the economy. Tourism is one of these projects. The high temperatures remain constant throughout the year, which means that Saudi Arabia is also an ideal travel destination in the winter months.

Like Dubai, Saudi Arabia does not want to remain solely dependent on oil. The widespread acceptance of electric vehicles among people under the age of 30 also means that they are no longer as certain of the high turnover from the sale of crude oil as they were a few years ago.

Saudi Arabia can therefore certainly be assumed to be calculating to present itself from this greener side now, of all times. Ultimately, the environment and the climate may not even care what motives these climate promises are made, as long as they are actually put into practice.



Ingo Noack

Ingo Noack is german journalist based in Berlin. He writes on Interational and European Affairs with particular focus on UK-German and Brexit related topics. He is also CEO of Real Estate Company, Owner Ghostwriter Agentur Berlin, business consultant