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 Saudi Arabia to Spend $92 Billion to Make Riyadh Sustainable City


Saudi Arabia to Spend $92 Billion to Make Riyadh Sustainable City

Saudi Arabia, which has been voted overwhelmingly to host World Expo 2030, will be investing $92 billion to make Riyadh one of the world’s most sustainable cities by 2030 through massive initiatives, the Kingdom’s Vice Minister for Tourism Princess Haifa bint Mohammed Al-Saud said.

The Vice Minister made these remarks at the third edition of the Saudi Green Initiative Forum (SGI), held on the side lines of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference – Cop28 – in Dubai. “One of those ways is to have more green spaces, and it’s the King Salman Park Initiative that we are going to develop in the middle of the city to enhance and create that,” she said.

The money would in part be spent expanding Riyadh’s green spaces. Already this year, 92,000 trees and shrubs have been planted in the Saudi capital’s Qurtubah neighbourhood.

Under the SGI, which was launched by Saudi Arabia’s Prime Minister and Crown Prince H R H Mohammed bin Salman in 2021, more than 43 million trees and shrubs have been planted across the Kingdom since it was set up in 2021 and also 94,000 hectares of degraded land (equivalent to 146,000 football fields) have been rehabilitated across the country.

SGI has also set numerous targets and standards to boost energy efficiency. These cover 90% of home and building energy consumption. The scheme has made home and street lighting 80% more efficient and split air conditioners 57% more efficient.

Saudi RE Projects

Saudi Arabia has also taken up renewable energy projects in a big way and witnessed a surge in the installed capacity of clean energy from 700MWs to 2GW in the past two years generating energy equivalent to powering over 520,000 homes. Furthermore, over 8GW of renewable energy projects are under construction and around 13GW in various development stages.

The Kingdom is on track to achieving its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 278 million tons per annum by 2030, with a plan to tender an additional 20 GW by 2024. The Kingdom is also building highly efficient plants equipped with carbon capture and storage technologies, with a total capacity of approximately 8.4GW. 

In his address, Saleh Al Jasser, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transportation highlighted some of actions being undertaken across the kingdom to decarbonise urban transport that included implementation of remote work in government agencies to reduce demand for daily travel.

“To shift to less carbon intensive modes of transport, we have set ambitious targets to increase the share of public transport, with the Riyadh bus and metro projects well underway,” he added.

Al-Jasser also said Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries to participate in aviation carbon offsetting and reduction schemes.

Global Business Magazine

Global Business Magazine

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