- Says Saudi Arabia has lowest placing missions
- Kingdom could reach net zero by 2060 target
- Developing renewable energies in parallel with oil, gas
SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov 11 (Reuters) – The world hoped to crucify Saudi Arabia as a top oil exporter, its energy minister said on the sidelines of the COP27 summit in Egypt, adding that the kingdom would closely monitor other countries renewable promises.
Outlining what he said were Saudi Arabia’s steps to produce cleaner energy and reduce its carbon footprint, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said: “The world hopes to crucify us.”
Instead, he said, Saudi Arabia would be responsible for the rest of the world.
“We want people to match us, and we want to make sure people put their money where their mouths are,” he said.
Among Saudi Arabia’s contributions, he said Saudi state oil producer Aramco ( 2222.SE ) had the lowest methane emissions by any measure.
Methane emissions, although less persistent than carbon dioxide, are extremely powerful, and the amount produced by the oil and gas industry was a focus of discussion at the COP27 negotiations on Friday.
The minister also said the kingdom is on track to achieve net zero emissions by 2060 and may advance the goal, depending on technology.
“We believe that date can hopefully be brought sooner, but I just want to make sure that when we commit, we deliver, but our hope is to deliver ahead of time,” he said.
GREEN HYDROGEN LOWEST?
Saudi Arabia is also working on producing hydrogen using renewable energy and aims to be the lowest-cost producer, Prince Abdulaziz said.
“We want to show ourselves as an energy-exporting country, because we will work hard in exporting hydrogen along with oil, along with liquid gases,” he told Reuters. “We will hopefully do electricity as well.”
The kingdom says it should also meet a carbon capture target of 44 million tonnes by 2035, he said.
Saudi Aramco signed a joint development agreement in partnership with the energy ministry on Thursday to establish a carbon capture and storage hub with the potential to store up to 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2027.
Environmental activists tend to be wary of carbon capture because industry can use it to justify the continued use of fossil fuels.
Oil and gas officials and industry leaders say fossil fuels remain necessary, especially as the world faces an economic crisis and the disruption of Russian supplies as a result of the Ukraine war.
They say underinvestment in fossil fuels has helped drive this year’s prices, which have pushed inflation to multi-decade highs and that oil and gas must be developed alongside renewable energy.
“You have to invest to decarbonize existing resources like oil and gas while building your renewable sectors. That has to happen in parallel,” Aramco chief Amin Nasser said on Friday.
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Reporting by Sarah El Safty and Aidan Lewis; Writing by Nadine Awadalla and Maha El Dahan; Editing by Alex Richardson, Frank Jack Daniel and Barbara Lewis
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