The billionaire chairman of India’s Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani said Thursday that Saudi Arabia and its G20 summit are putting sustainability and green initiatives on the global agenda.
Ambani was speaking during a virtual conference convened by Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative Institute (FII-I). The conference set out to discuss what shape a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will take, and how to put sustainability and green strategies at its heart.
During a conversation regarding the energy industry’s role in facilitating a green recovery from the virus, Ambani called on industry players to remember the carbon cycle – a series of processes where carbon is converted through the environment.
“Now it is time to use technology … to reset that balance and adopt the carbon cycle. It’s not only imperative for us to be net carbon zero but I think we have to recycle carbon. I believe that Mother Nature is the best technology that no human kind can every do and she teaches us how to recycle,” he said.
“In the last 150 years we have forgotten the carbon cycle … I think Saudi Arabia and the G20 summit is putting this on the global agenda,” Ambani explained.
Renewable energy is essential
The coronavirus pandemic is causing the greatest recession the world has seen in nearly a century, with the full extent damage caused by the pandemic likely not realized – although experts broadly agree that the worst has passed.
In line with the economic slowdown, energy use as plummeted. The recovery from the coronavirus provides an opportunity to put green and sustainability strategies in place, Yassir al-Rumayyan governor of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) and chairman of Saudi Aramco said earlier in the conference.
“We have to adopt technologies, and for us in the energy business it is not so much about decarbonization but it is really about really completing this cycle,” Ambani added.
“Energy is an essential requirement for all of the eight billion people on this earth, and there is a need to provide efficient new affordable energy and we have to do it in a responsible way,” he concluded.
Earlier, Ambani’s fellow panelist, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz, revealed that the Kingdom would be unveiling a new solar project that will produce energy at the lowest cost yet.
“We are putting our money where our mouth is, we will be very soon announcing a project on solar that will take the lead in terms of probably the lowest, if not the lowest, cost per kilowatt of electricity. We will be announcing it very soon,” he said.
The conference, brought together under the theme “Don’t Forget Our Planet!,” coveres topics including what lessons have been learned to protect nature, sustainable energy solutions for the private and public sectors, and how to view ecology through the lens of profitability.
The conference is being held Thursday between 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Riyadh time. Al Arabiya English is streaming the conference on YouTube and Twitter.
In October 2019, more than 6,000 executives and participants attended the third Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.