Riyadh (AFP)

"Today I am announcing Saudi Arabia's zero emission goal by 2060 through a circular carbon economy strategy," Mohammed bin Salman said in a statement recorded at the Saudi Green Initiative forum at Ryad.

"I am pleased to launch initiatives in the energy sector that will reduce carbon emissions by 278 million tonnes per year by 2030, more than double the previously announced target of an annual reduction of some 130 million tonnes, "said the crown prince.

The kingdom, which is also one of the biggest polluters in the world, added that it would participate in the international effort to reduce global methane emissions by 30% by 2030.

The announcements come a day after those of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who said the current climate situation was "a one-way ticket to disaster" and stressed the need to "avoid failure" at the conference. International Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

COP 26, which will be held between October 31 and November 12, is seen as a crucial moment in determining global carbon emission reduction targets and combating global warming.

In March, Riyadh unveiled a vast campaign to reduce its emissions, including a plan to plant billions of trees over the coming decades.

The linchpin of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) also aims to produce half of its energy from renewable energies by 2030, according to statements made by Prince Mohammed ben Salman at the time.

Saudi Arabia currently uses oil and natural gas to meet its own rapidly growing demand for electricity and to desalinate its water, which requires huge amounts of oil on a daily basis.

Saudi Minister of Energy Abdulaziz ben Salmane al-Saud, during a "Saudi Green Initiative" forum, October 23, 2021 in Ryad Fayez Nureldine AFP

At the same time, energy giant Saudi Aramco is coming under scrutiny from investors over its issues.

© 2021 AFP

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