Saudi Arabia’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)

Spotlight Activity: Saudi Arabia’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)

Saudi Arabia recognizes that its main source of income and the staple of its economy is oil production, but they would like to diversify their economy, so that they are not relying solely on one source of income. Moving away from being so dependent on carbon-emitting fossil fuels is therefore not only in the global benefit, but in the benefit of its own economy. In Saudi Arabia’s NDC, it pledges to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 130 million tons per year by the year 2030, by taking the following steps: Investing in other industries such as Manufacturing, Mining, Tourism, and Information Technology, investing in more renewable energy, natural gas, and energy efficiency programs, as well as investing in carbon capture and utilization projects, with the goal of capturing 1500 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per day. They recognize that by diversifying their economy and exporting the oil they are producing, rather than using it domestically, they will see enhanced economic growth. In order for Saudi Arabia to reach their goal of reducing carbon emissions, they would like other countries’ technical assistance in implementing the activities mentioned. As other countries also implement their own activities to ween off of fossil fuels, the impact of their economic activities on the Saudi Arabian economy must also be assessed.

Status: Falling Behind

Saudi Arabia does not provide a baseline and most of its pledge is conditional on outside technical support because they don’t have carbon capture and storage technology, but also because they have not really ventured into renewable technology yet and need technical assistance with that. They are also asking for research assistance on assessing the impact of the international energy market as countries move away from fossil fuels. Climate Action Tracker evaluates Saudi Arabia abatement target of reducing emissions by up to 130 MtCO2e per year by 2030 as stated in its NDC and rates this abatement target as critically inadequate to make a fair contribution to keep global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. It explains that this pledged abatement rate will result in 949–1,128 MtCO2e excl. LULUCF by 2030, a 51–79% increase above 2014 levels, or a 374–464% increase above 1990 levels, which is insufficient to meet Saudi Arabia’s minimum fair contribution to controlling global warming to 2 degrees Celsius let alone the stronger Paris Agreement goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius. It bases this conclusion on the uncertainty around Saudi Arabia’s targeted emissions level and the significant scaling down in its planned policies aimed at diversifying the energy mix and investments in renewable energy resources from 54 GW of renewable and 17 GW of nuclear energy by 2032 to 9.5 GW in 2023 and omitting the reference to nuclear power. The Climate Action Tracker criticism that Saudi Arabia is not making sufficient commitment to reduce its carbon emissions is based on the recent update of April 30th, but we expect that Climate Action Tracker rating to change in the next assessment in light of the recent announcement that the Kingdom is making a big investment in solar energy projects.

Recommendations:

  1. Revise your NDC to a more ambitious reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, seeing that you are on their way to build the largest solar plant in the world (200 GW) which is by itself more than your original 54 GW goal.
  2. Set up a team of experts to work on a study that establishes national emissions projections that will increase transparency and clarity on how the Kingdom will comply with its NDC target under 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
  3. Release BAU or projected emissions baseline to inform domestic climate change policy and strategic planning and provide emissions information internationally.
  4. Adhere to your original plans of full implementation of current renewable energy projects to achieve the emission level projected NDC target with the production of a renewable energy of 54 GW and a nuclear energy of 17 GW by 2032.

Take Action

Please send the following message to Minister HE Abdulrahman Al Fadley:

Dear Minister HE Abdulrahman Al Fadley,
It is important that Saudi Arabia strengthen the pledge our country has made to the Paris Agreement before the Agreement goes into effect. For example, Saudi Arabia could do any or all the following: It could perhaps revise its NDC to a more ambitious reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, seeing that the Kingdom is on its way to build the largest solar plant in the world (200 GW) which is by itself more than Saudi Arabia’s original 54 GW goal. It could set up a team of experts to work on a study that establishes national emissions projections that will increase transparency and clarity on how the Kingdom will comply with its NDC target under 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Moreover, it could Release BAU or projected emissions baseline to inform domestic climate change policy and strategic planning and provide emissions information internationally. Finally, it is necessary that Saudi Arabia Adhere to your original plans of full implementation of current renewable energy projects to achieve the emission level projected NDC target with the production of a renewable energy of 54 GW and a nuclear energy of 17 GW by 2032.

Contact
HE Mr. Abdulrahman Al Fadley, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture,
Toll Free 800 247 2220

Or Eng. Mansour Bin Hilal Al Mushaiti, Deputy Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture,
Toll Free 800 247 2220

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