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Net Zero Target of Saudi Arabia

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    2nd Nov, 2021

Context

Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest oil producers, has recently announced that it will reach “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2060.

About

Key-Points

  • The announcement was made at the start of the first-ever Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) Forum of the kingdom. 
    • The aim is the SGI to increase crop coverage, reduce carbon emissions, fight pollution, and land degradation, and preserve marine life.
  • Saudi Arabia will join a global campaign to reduce methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030, in accordance with Global Methane Pledge pressed by the European Union (EU) and the United States.
  • While maintaining its leading role in strengthening the security and stability of global oil markets, the aim of SGI is to achieve zero-net emissions by 2060 under its global carbon economy plan.
    • That approach focuses on unreliable pictures technology and carbon storage over efforts to reduce global dependence on fossil fuels.

About the Net Zero Target

  • Net-zero is a condition in which emissions are compensated for by the absorption and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Reaching net-zero emissions is akin to achieving "climate neutrality."
  • Gross zero would mean stopping all emissions, which isn’t realistically attainable across all sectors of our lives and industry. Net zero looks at emissions overall, allowing for the removal of any unavoidable emissions, such as those from aviation or manufacturing.
  • Removing greenhouse gases could be via nature, as trees take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, or through new technology or changing industrial processes.

Concerns

  • Announcing the Net Zero Carbon Targets in a recent report by Oxfam International, Strengthening the Net, could be a dangerous obstacle to prioritizing reducing carbon emissions.
    • More than 100 countries have set or considered net-zero or neutral target releases.

India’s scenario

  • India is now the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China, the United States, and the European Union, and according to the IPCC Sixth Review Report, it will be among the countries most severely affected countries.
  • India will simply focus on advancing the goals of transition to green energy and it is unlikely that it will follow the highly recommended net-zero system.
  • India is committed towards having 175-gigawatt renewable energy by 2030 under the 2015 Paris Climate Treaty and reducing carbon intensity of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 33-35% by 2030.
  • The principle that India believes in is of ‘common but separate responsibility’, as developed countries should take the first steps to reduce their exports significantly.
    • In addition, developed countries should compensate poor countries for the damage done to the environment as a result of their previous emissions.
  • A recent study by the Think tank Council for Energy Environment and Water Projects revealed that, for India to reach the net-zero target even by 2070, coal consumption, especially electricity generation, will need to be peak by 2040 and drop by 99 per cent between 2040 and 2060 and the consumption of crude oil across sectors would also need to peak by 2050 and fall substantially by 90 per cent between 2050 and 2070.
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