Saudi Arabia’s Work with the Green Climate Fund and the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Signal Its Intention to Support Climate Change Efforts in Other Countries

Spotlight Activity: Saudi Arabia’s Work with the Green Climate Fund and the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Signal Its Intention to Support Climate Change Efforts in Other Countries

Saudi Arabia does not receive donations to implement and further its renewable energy program, although other Middle Eastern countries do. It does give donations to other developing countries, although this amount is undisclosed. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is part of the UNFCCC to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change. Saudi Arabia has been designated as part of the GCF’s governing structure. It is recognized as a national designated authority or a focal point, which acts as a core GCF interface between a developing country and the GCF. (Unfortunately we have not been able to identify a developing country with whom Saudi Arabia is partnered). Saudi Arabia is also part of the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund, which is a group of six nations that are “promoting the integration of climate change analysis in the management of large, long-term and diversified asset pools.” Along with the five other nations, this fund manages over $3 trillion in assets, including Saudi Arabian assets. As part of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious 2030 vision to build up its renewable energy sector to an initial target of producing at least 9.5 gigawatts from renewable sources, it plans to set aside at least $50 billion to develop renewable energy projects in the country, and more specifically $7 billion in 2018 alone. Although Saudi Arabia has expressed the need to also implement climate change adaptation measures, it has not specified a budget for these activities.

Status: Moving Forward

Saudi Arabia’s active engagement with the GCF governing body is a very encouraging sign of the leadership’s political will to counter the negative effects of climate change in developing countries either through adaptation or mitigation measures. Furthermore, the Kingdom’s allocation of funds including the establishment of the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund to finance international environmentally-conscious large-scale projects is a promising step to build its own renewable energy sector and to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and carbon emissions. It is important to note that Saudi Arabia’s investments are well placed due to the abundant sunlight and winds in the region. These projects in the solar and wind energy will help Saudi Arabia reach its goal of having 9.5 gigawatts produced from renewable energy by 2023. Saudi Arabia’s donations to several multilateral funds to help other developing countries adjust to climate change impact is also a vital and important contribution for reducing regional and global carbon emissions.

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Khalid A. Al-Falih
Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources
webmaster@meim.gov.sa

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