Saudi Arabia Policy Recommendations

Spotlight Activity: Saudi Arabia Policy Recommendations

Saudi Arabia is currently projected to reach 1,105 Mt (Megatons) of carbon emissions per year by the year 2030, if it abides by its Paris Climate Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). In order to limit global warming to 1.5C, the country needs to decrease its carbon emissions to 376 Mt per year by 2030. To reach this goal, we recommend that the government adopt the following policies.

Policy Recommendations

  1. Increase Renewable Energy Capacity

There exists a huge potential for the country to reduce its emissions through the development of solar and wind energy projects, because it currently obtains almost all of its energy needs from burning large amounts of oil and natural gas. As part of its “Saudi 2030 Vision”, the government plans on generating 10% of its energy needs from renewable energies by 2030. If Saudi Arabia does indeed follow through with its recent declaration to build several solar megaprojects, it has the potential to generate a much larger amount than 10% from renewable energies, and therefore reduce its dependence on fossil fuel, and thereby reducing its carbon emissions. 

  1. Expanding Energy Efficiency Programs

Green building technology should be implemented in all new infrastructure and be used to retrofit old buildings as well. This will decrease the amount of energy needed to electrify Saudi Arabia’s cities, and therefore decrease the amount of fossil fuels needed to burn for energy, thereby lowering carbon emissions. 

For both of these policies, private and public companies need to be engaged, and the Ministry of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources needs to increase its investments into the renewable energy and green technology fields. The Kingdom has already established Saudi Energy Efficiency Centre (SEEC) at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) to upgrade its building codes and regulations and implement an ambitious green building and construction technology. This program should be expanded to include old buildings and future construction projects as well. 

Activity Ranking: **** Moving Forward

The proposed policies should be doable given the large financial and technical resources and capacity readily available. Saudi Arabia is a rich country and has developed the requisite technology needed to develop several reputable renewable energy research centers and institutions. These centers can cooperate with the Ministry of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources, to scale up the construction of more solar mega projects which will generate a much larger amount than 10% from renewable energies

Take Action

Please send the following message to the policymaker(s) below. 

Dear Minister Khalid A. Al-Falih

We recommend that your Ministry update the greenhouse gas emissions pledge of Saudi Arabia to the Paris Agreement before November 2030. Your updated pledge should be aimed at reaching a target of 376 MTCO2 per year by 2030. We recommend that you implement the following policies to reach this target: increasing renewable energy generating capacity and expanding energy efficiency programs.

Send Action Alert Message to:

Khalid A. Al-Falih

Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources

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