King Salman’s G20 speech a roadmap for economic sustainability

23/11/20

King Salman’s speech at the G20 was a global document of reassurance. His speech ended with a sentence restoring hope to all people of the world. This came amid the fragile global economic situation and health crises that need reassurance.

King Salman affirmed a commitment to work with the rest of the world to confront the pandemic, ensure economic recovery, and take proactive measures to face any such emergency in the future. In other words, the speech was a roadmap for Saudi Arabia and all its global allies. It has set the tone for the next G20 Summit in Italy in 2021, and the one in India scheduled for 2022.

The Saudi king stressed the need to take measures to ensure a sustainable economy and promote a circular carbon economy, which is one of the Kingdom’s many goals to ensure cleaner, sustainable and affordable energy. Saudi Arabia has one of the lowest levels of carbon emissions, and it has put forward a vision of a low-carbon economy to become a global model in this regard.

The Kingdom adopted the concept of a circular carbon economy and presented it at the G20 Summit with a holistic and realistic approach to achieve more sustainability in the economic system. To achieve this goal, Saudi Arabia is taking measures to reduce carbon emissions in all sectors.

It is the opposite of the linear carbon economy that currently prevails, in which carbon resources are burned so that energy is produced in all its forms. This is a waste of valuable carbon resources that can be used chemically as raw materials to produce other commodities with added value. There are several sectors — such as chemicals, waste management and housing — that must cooperate with the global energy sector to contribute to the transformation from a linear economy to a successful circular carbon one.

The Kingdom is investing heavily in new energy solutions and efficiency for the benefit of the world. In fact, it is reforming its entire energy system. It has the largest plant in the world for carbon capture, storage and use, and it converts half-a-million tons of carbon dioxide annually into useful products such as fertilizers and methanol.

The Kingdom also has the region’s most advanced plants for enhanced oil extraction using carbon dioxide, and it separates and stores 800,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually. This is in addition to other plans to create more infrastructure facilities for carbon capture in all Saudi regions.

• Faisal Faeq is an energy and oil marketing adviser. He was formerly with OPEC and Saudi Aramco. Twitter:@faisalfaeq

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This article was first published in Arab News

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