Bearing in mind the vast petroleum reserves Saudi Arabia has, which resulted in having enormous economic wealth, environmental protection and the development of its natural reserves should not be viewed in
isolation. Accordingly, Saudi Arabia has already realized the significant importance of tackling the environmental problems through creating up
new technologies, linking them to the development plans, integrating them into the comprehensive national plan of Science and Technology, and
putting them as a priority in its strategic vision 2030
Only through concerted effort and partnership of the different Saudi institutions would the Kingdom contribute to the global efforts to preserve the environment
Aware as the Kingdom is of the world drive towards reducing the carbon emissions and the noxious gases, improving energy efficiency, transforming to produce clean and affordable energy, facing the global warming and
climate change, and increasing realizing on what so-called green technologies, it has already taken wide strides in this regard—Globally, Saudi Arabia has been already one of the states signatory to Paris Climate
Agreement. In the pursuit of achieving its Paris Agreement target, Saudi Arabia recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Soft Bank Group to build a 200 GW solar plant, to be the hugest single solar project
globally, with a vast potential of decreasing the emissions. Moreover, Saudi Arabia is planning to take more steps to face climate change in accordance to “the Kingdom Vision 2030”. Locally, in 2016, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz
established the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture “MEWA” with the belief that preserving the environment and achieving the sustainability is no longer a luxury.
The Environment Ministry launches a new initiative to measure air pollution in 2017 so as to monitor air quality and emissions of pollutants in an effort to improve public health. Earlier in 2014, the General Commission of Meteorology and Environment issued a decree giving all companies five years to comply with new air, water and noise pollution standards, Saudi’s
plan for international development, and the international benchmark standards as part of the environmental plan of the commission aiming at protecting the Saudi’s health and natural resources. As for green building, infrastructure projects, new cities, and improved housing constitute a
massive investment sector so green building guidelines were set by the Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, including improvements to both the energy efficiency of air conditioning units and the insulation used in the construction of the buildings they are cooling. The King Abdullah
Finance District was wholly built according to LEED standards using rooftop solar panels, local building materials, district cooling systems, and intelligent lighting.
In reference to the private sector’s efforts in preserving the environment, Saudi Tetra Pak has announced strategy 2020, in line with the requirements of the vision of Saudi Arabia 2030, with a goal of achieving 40% global
recycling rate by 2020, offering packages based 100% on renewable materials, and increasing public awareness through organizing events such as recycling seminars. Another best example is Saudi Aramco that has
proved its worth in finding out innovative engineering solutions, fostering its productivity, and limiting the environmental impact its operations may have. Saudi Aramco has been always keen on minimizing the amount of
energy it uses, keeping the structural integrity of its plants and facilities, conserving and reusing the highest possible amount of water, and applying the best emission-reducing practices and technologies.
The environmental conservation measures support the economic diversification that the Kingdom is seeking to achieve
Investment opportunities have been generated out of this desire to balance between the Saudi’s dependency on hydrocarbons and the desirable sustainable growth. Renewable energy, carbon-saving technology,
and green building are the main three hubs of such investments. Green business solutions have found their way through the Kingdom’s strenuous efforts to impose more stringent domestic environmental regulations and standards and its great ambition towards promoting energy efficiency leading to maximize the export potential of the hydrocarbon reserves.
On another side, these developments would help to create up new job opportunities and attracting public and private sector spending.
Since the announcement of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, it has been making rapid and radical changes at all levels.
The environmental conservation is an integral part of the national vision, for which it utilized all the potential it has. Saudi Arabia’s plans and strategies in relation to the environment are so promising.