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Net-zero emissions by 2060, says Saudi

Dubai: One of the world's largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia, announced Saturday it aims to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2060, joining more than 100 countries in a global effort to try and curb man-made climate change. The announcement, made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in brief scripted remarks at the start of the kingdom's first-ever Saudi Green Initiative Forum, was timed to make a splash a little more than a week before the start of the global COP26 climate conference being held in Glasgow, Scotland.

Although the kingdom will aim to reduce its emissions, Prince Mohammed said the kingdom would do so through a so-called Carbon Circular Economy approach. That approach focuses on still unreliable carbon capture and storage technologies over efforts to actually reduce global reliance on fossil fuels.

The announcement only pertains to Saudi Arabia's efforts within its national borders, and does not impact its continued aggressive investment in oil and exporting its fossil fuels to Asia and other regions.

The kingdom's oil and gas exports form the backbone of its economy, despite efforts to diversify away from reliance on fossil fuels for revenue. The global summit COP26 starting October 31 will draw heads of state from across the world to try and tackle global warming and its challenges.

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