Saudi Arabia pledges to cut its carbon emissions by half by 2060

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has issued a bold promise to cut carbon emissions — and they are not words America’s voters might be familiar with.

The crown prince said the Saudi government aims to achieve a net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, a goal that follows climate change plans that America first put into place in 2009, by using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power and cleaner transportation.

“We wanted to make sure that it was transparent and that it was responsible,” he said at a meeting in Paris hosted by the prince’s petrochemical company Saudi Basic Industries Corporation. “We did not want to hide anything. We wanted to be transparent and honest, to give you details and figures.”

After President Donald Trump announced last year that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, Saudi Arabia declared itself a leader in reducing carbon emissions, and is one of the world’s largest per-capita carbon emitters.

The Saudi pledges are in line with the conclusions of international climate change bodies such as the United Nations International Energy Agency. But under pressure, even Saudi Arabia’s own ministers have admitted that the country will fall short of its 2060 goals.

Trump will chair the G7 summit, which begins on Friday in Canada, and will be seeking out new allies on the issue. During a visit to the Gulf state of Bahrain last week, he threatened not to attend the meeting if there was any slippage in the deal to fight climate change. The prospect of Saudi Arabia and other traditional U.S. allies will make a mark.


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