Climate change is a global issue and no single country in the world can deal with it alone. Concerted and coordinated regional and international cooperation among countries is required to mitigate the long term effects of climate change. To reduce carbon emission, which is one of the prime factors behind climate change, cooperation, knowledge transfer and shared experiences among countries are required.
We applaud the commendable initiatives of Saudi Arabia to reduce land degradation and protect coral reefs through joint partnerships with the countries of the region. The efforts encompassing actions on land and the seas reflect a holistic rather than a piecemeal approach to mitigation of climate change. Their focus is on facing the environmental challenges, improving the quality of life in the region and implementing the largest afforestation project in the world that will restore millions of hectares of degraded land in addition to reducing global carbon levels.The two projects were launched by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, who is modern-thinking and futuristic in his views. In his own words, he expressed that as a leading global oil producer, the Kingdom was aware of its responsibility in fighting the climate crisis and that it intends to lead the global green era. The Kingdom is also very much committed to economic and social development in Saudi Arabia and towards that end has been applying new environmental policies, which include the preservation of marine and desert habitats and creating green urban areas.
It is necessary for other countries to follow the Saudi example and recognise the importance of protecting the environment, combating climate change and facing environmental challenges in the region. Saudi Arabia has taken steps to counter the effects of high temperatures, low rainfall, high dust waves and desertification which are creating an economic threat to their region.
Other regions of the world can emulate the Saudi green effort which is a continuation of its efforts to protect the planet during its 2020 G20 presidency, which resulted in a special declaration on the environment, the adoption of the concept of a circular carbon economy. It is expected that the ambitious projects will help reduce 60 per cent of carbon emissions within the region while contributing to 10 per cent reduction of global emission.