By AFP; Written by Susanna Heller, CNN
Leading oil exporter Saudi Arabia aims to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, its crown prince said at the G7 summit in Quebec on Friday.
“We are, as a kingdom, committed to make changes of 2030, 2040, 2060, in terms of whether we are going to adopt policies, subsidies or to build our own energy sources,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said, according to CNN.
“That means we are going to reduce carbon in the environment by 80-90% compared to what it was today.”
The environmental issues will not go away, he said, because there “are 2 billion more people.”
“We are already over 38% reliant on fossil fuels. I think we are close to more than 50% today.”
Prince Mohammed also addressed the call to reform global oil markets to the G7 leaders, saying he would “continue to support all our counterparts in addressing this issue.”
“The oil industry is very important to me,” he said. “Forgiveness is a beautiful thing, but it is the reality that oil is a very important element in the balance of our global economy.”
Prince Mohammed also announced an initiative to create a sovereign wealth fund that will invest in clean energy sources, particularly nuclear and clean energy. He will chair an assembly of G7 members to decide how to set up the fund.
“There is nothing in the world that grows more quickly than these two ideas — nuclear and clean energy,” he said.
The king’s son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been a driving force behind Saudi Arabia’s rapid economic and social reforms, including allowing women to drive and lifting a ban on cinema and music.
The country will be the first to commercialize the use of a technology called carbon nanotube composites in building buildings, Prince Mohammed said. The technology has applications in carbon fiber manufacturers and high-speed trains, and has shown promise in packaging technology.
“Soon, Saudi Arabia will be the first country in the world to commercialize nanotube building construction technology for buildings of 15,000 square meters in sizes of 200mm to 200mm,” Prince Mohammed said.