Saudi Arabia wants to become zero-carbon exporter by 2060

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Saudi Arabia is OPEC’s largest oil producer

The world’s largest oil exporter Saudi Arabia is aiming to become a net-zero carbon emitter by 2060, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said.

He also said that every city and every oil company in the kingdom had to find energy independence by 2050 or find alternative sources of energy.

The plan would “allow us to give up most of the oil we produce in 2020”.

Prince Mohammed made the comments during an opening speech at the Climate Summit.

When oil was first discovered in Saudi Arabia in the 1920s it made up 90% of the country’s economy.

Oil accounts for about 80% of Saudi Arabia’s export earnings, which far exceed its oil production, making it the second-largest oil exporter in the world behind Russia.

Developing countries are set to account for 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2050, even though they account for only half of global population.

“Right now we are gas and oil country that is burning a lot of gas and oil. In future, maybe not,” said the prince, who attended the UN’s climate summit in Bonn, Germany.

Image copyright EPA Image caption Crude oil is extracted from the underground but flammable liquid

“The most important part is to find away to find alternatives. If it’s natural gas and oil we can stop,” he said.

He said that energy efficiency should be a cornerstone for the kingdom’s post-oil, low-carbon economy.

The crown prince said that with Saudi Arabia’s largest city Riyadh being completely dependent on oil and oil products, the infrastructure around the city had been woefully neglected, and not rebuilt in 50 years.

“And today, when we look at the rest of the world we could build the infrastructure of all these cities in 10 minutes.

“We can install (cellphone) towers with solar panels so we can create jobs for people. We can build housing for people. We can give them educational opportunities. We can give them everything.

“And we’re working on this,” he said.

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