Saudi’s Middle East Green Initiative Summit to welcome 20 regional heads of state

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The inaugural Middle East Green Initiative Summit will convene more than 20 heads of state from across the region to endorse targets for shared environmental commitments, it has been announced.

The summit will bring together international and regional leaders on October 25 to motivate consensus to deliver against shared environmental commitments.

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Being the official launch of the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI), the summit’s ambitious effort is spearheaded by Saudi Arabia to scale up climate commitments and deliver against clear targets across the region.

As part of MGI, Saudi Arabia will work with Middle Eastern neighbors to combat climate change under a number of initiatives, including developing the largest reforestation program in the region with plans to plant an additional 40 billion trees across the Middle East, restoring an area equivalent to 200 million hectares of degraded land, which will reduce 2.5 percent of global carbon levels, and reduce carbon emissions from hydrocarbon production in the region by more than 60 percent, and more initiatives which will together achieve carbon emission reductions of more than 10 percent of global contributions.

Saudi Green Initiative logo (Supplied)
Saudi Green Initiative logo (Supplied)

The Middle East Green Initiative Summit will be part of a three-day line-up of events held by Saudi Arabia to tackle climate change and encourage international collaboration on sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

On October 23, the Saudi Green Initiative Forum rallies the climate action ecosystem to achieve ambitious national targets. The Forum will unveil SGI’s roadmap for delivery and spotlight the Kingdom’s green efforts.

On October 24, the Kingdom will also host the Youth Green Summit, which aims to rally young climate advocates and provide them a platform for environmental literacy, advocacy and policy making.

Over the course of the three days, local, regional and international climate champions and environmental experts will address ways to step up climate action ahead of the COP26 global climate conference to be held in the UAE on October 31.

Speakers will discuss themes including biodiversity, protecting some of the world’s most important ecosystems, and scaling up green energy.

The forums go hand-in-hand with the Saudi Green Initiative (SG), an ambitious masterplan by the Kingdom to reduce carbon emissions and help mitigate climate change.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had announced in March the “Saudi Arabia Green Initiative” and the “Middle East Green Initiative” that will both chart the Kingdom and the region's direction in protecting land.

“As a leading global oil producer, we are fully aware of our share of responsibility in advancing the fight against the climate crisis, and that, as our pioneering role in stabilizing energy markets during the oil and gas era, we will act to lead the next green era,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said during the announcement of the initiatives.

During the announcement of the initiatives, the Crown Prince said that Saudi Arabia and the region are facing many environmental challenges, like desertification which poses an economic threat to the region and that air pollution from greenhouse gases is estimated to have reduced the average life of citizens by a year and a half.

The Saudi Green Initiative, the Crown Prince said, will work to raise vegetation cover, reduce carbon emissions, combat pollution and land degradation, and preserve marine life.

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