KSA committed to improvement of energy efficiency: Al-Naimi
Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Al-Naimi has reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to tackle climate change by implementing a host of mitigation and adaptation measures.
“Saudi Arabia remains committed and have a carbon management roadmap. Technology provides answers to many of our current challenges in addressing climate change,” he said at the Clean Energy Ministerial side event organized by the US Center at UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris
The minister also said that energy efficiency would be a key driver in the Kingdom’s effort with the establishment of the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center (SEEC).
SEEC has been tasked with the role of creating awareness among Saudi Arabia’s population such as encouraging usage of more energy efficient household appliances which can reduce energy consumption by 20 percent to 30 percent.
The minister was one of the panelists at the side event titled “The Clean Energy Ministerial: Implementation and Increasing Ambition Beyond Paris“
Other panelists were US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz; California Gov. Jerry Brown; Denmark’s Climate, Energy & Building Minister Larls Lilleholt and Sweden’s Energy Minister Ibrahim Baylan.
The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) is a high-level global forum to promote policies and programs that advance clean energy technology, to share lessons learned and best practices, and to encourage the transition to a global clean energy economy. Initiatives are based on areas of common interest among participating governments and other stakeholders.
Saudi Arabia also reinforced its commitment to the improvement of energy efficiency and recognizing the importance of emissions reduction as a means of combating climate change and supporting sustainable development programs.
This was conveyed by Al-Naimi at the High-Level Segment (HLS) of the climate change conference.
“The Kingdom is committed to the improvement of energy efficiency; the use of solar and wind energy; carbon capture and storage; especially for use in enhanced oil recovery; the shift from liquid fuels to gas; and the promotion of research and development in the field of clean energy,” said the minister, when addressing the HLS.
The HLS, attended by ministers and head of delegations, discussed statements by representatives of groups and national statements by ministers and other heads of delegation during joint meetings of the COP 21 and the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 11).
Al-Naimi, however, stressed the importance of the new Paris Agreement, expected to be signed at the end of COP 21, to take into account the principles and provisions of the current Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“This includes, especially, the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR), based on the national priorities and circumstances of each country. In addition, the new agreement must strike a fair balance between greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements and adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change, and must cover all sectors instead of focusing exclusively on the energy sector,” he said.
In this context, the minister called for the adoption of emission reduction policies that do not discriminate against any of the energy sources, and that these sources be viewed as complementary to each other in a way that contributes to the achievement of sustainable development for all.
Al-Naimi also reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s willingness to participate actively in the promotion and implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In this context, the Kingdom has submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) on the economic diversification initiative in accordance with the economic diversification decision adopted during COP 18 in Doha.
“Through this, the Kingdom will take action, adopt plans and implement programs designed to accelerate economic diversification and achieve the common benefits of avoiding greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to the effects of climate change, and mitigation of the impacts of response measures,” the minister said.
Al-Naimi pointed out that the global nature of climate change required an effective and adequate international response in accordance with the CBDR, and the success of such response lies in achieving climate goals in a way that makes it possible to proceed with economic development in a sustainable manner.