Saudi Arabia and the Paris Agreement: A Complex Relationship
The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, is a landmark international treaty aimed at combatting climate change by reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement calls on all signatories to take actions to limit the rise in global temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Saudi Arabia, one of the world`s largest oil producers, was among the 195 countries that signed the agreement. However, the country`s relationship with the Paris Agreement has been complex, with some experts suggesting that the kingdom has been more interested in protecting its oil industry than in taking real action on climate change.
Saudi Arabia`s initial commitment to the Paris Agreement was to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 130 million metric tons by 2030. While this may sound promising, it`s worth noting that the country`s emissions have risen by approximately 50% in the past decade alone.
In addition, Saudi Arabia has been criticized for blocking progress on several key issues related to the Paris Agreement, including efforts to establish more ambitious emissions reduction targets and calls for greater transparency in reporting emissions data.
For example, at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Madrid, Saudi Arabia was accused of obstructing efforts to establish more ambitious targets for emissions reductions. The country also refused to support a proposal that would have required nations to report their greenhouse gas emissions every year, instead of every two years as currently required.
Despite these criticisms, Saudi Arabia has taken some steps to address climate change and transition towards a more sustainable economy. In 2017, the government announced plans to develop 9.5 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2023, and in 2019 it launched the Saudi Green Initiative, which aims to plant 10 billion trees in the country and reduce carbon emissions by 60% by 2030.
However, some experts argue that these initiatives do not go far enough, and that Saudi Arabia must take more meaningful action if it is to truly contribute to the global effort to combat climate change.
In conclusion, Saudi Arabia`s relationship with the Paris Agreement is complex, with the country facing pressure to address its high greenhouse gas emissions while also protecting its lucrative oil industry. While Saudi Arabia has taken some steps towards reducing emissions and transitioning to a more sustainable economy, critics argue that more needs to be done if the kingdom is truly committed to combatting climate change.