SHARM EL-SHEIKH: Saudi Arabia will contribute $2.5 billion to the Middle East Green Initiative over the next 10 years and host its headquarters in the Kingdom, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Monday.

The Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, will also aim for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the crown prince said in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, as world leaders gathered for the COP27 climate change conference.

The Middle East Green Initiative was launched by the crown prince last year with the aim of reducing carbon emissions from regional hydrocarbon production by more than 60 percent.

It also aims to plant 50 billion trees across the Middle East and restore an area equivalent to 200 million hectares of degraded land. The initiative will reduce global carbon levels by 2.5 percent.

Saudi Arabia plans to rely on renewables for 50 percent of its electricity generation by 2030, the crown prince said, removing 44 million tons of carbon emissions by 2035.

“With concerted regional efforts, the initiative seeks to support the efforts and cooperation of the region to reduce emissions and remove more than 670 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is the amount of nationally determined contributions of all countries of the region, and represents 10 percent of global contributions when the initiative was announced,” the crown prince said.

Reaching the desired goals of the Middle East Green Initiative required regional cooperation and effective contributions from member states, he said.

Several initiatives were launched at the last summit to combat emissions through afforestation. A regional center for climate change and a cloud seeding program is among the initiatives, he said.

To achieve the emissions reduction target, the crown prince said the Kingdom had launched the Saudi Green Initiative. This initiative aimed to reduce emissions by more than 270 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030 using a circular carbon economy approach, along with other initiatives.

The Public Investment Fund will be one of the first sovereign funds globally and the first in the Middle East to achieve greenhouse net- zero by 2050, demonstrating its role as a key player in supporting global efforts to combat climate change, said the crown prince.

Saudi Arabia said last year it aimed to contribute 15 percent of the $10.4 billion required for the fund’s clean energy projects.