Oil giant Saudi Arabia submits carbon-curbing pledge

Oil export giant Saudi Arabia submitted its pledge Tuesday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

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Oil export giant Saudi Arabia submitted its pledge on Tuesday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a move observers hailed as a step in the right direction.

In an action plan filed with the U.N. three weeks before a crucial climate conference in Paris, the world’s biggest crude oil exporter said up to 130 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year would be “avoided” by 2030.

It was not clear yet whether this meant a cut from existing or projected pollution levels.

Greenhouse gas emissions for the world last year, totalled just under 53 billion tonnes of CO2e.

Saudi Arabia is the fourth member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after Ecuador, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates to submit a carbon-curbing pledge.

It became the 157th country to submit its national pledge, dubbed Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDE. These will form the backbone of a 195-nation pact, due to be inked in Paris, to limit global warming.

Saudi Arabia made its target conditional on diversification of its fossil fuel-reliant economy. Petroleum revenue makes up roughly 90 percent of government income.

“These ambitions are contingent on the kingdom’s economy continuing to grow with an increasingly diversified economy and a robust contribution from oil exports,” the pledge said.

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