The world was hoping to crucify Saudi Arabia as a top oil exporter, its Energy Minister said on the sidelines of the COP27 summit in Egypt, adding the Kingdom would be closely monitoring other countries’ renewable promises, Reuters reports.
Setting out what he said were Saudi Arabia’s steps to produce cleaner energy and reduce its carbon footprint, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said: “The world is hoping to crucify us.”
Instead, he said, Saudi Arabia would be holding the rest of the world to account.
“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 Arabian state oil producer, Aramco, had the lowest methane emissions by any measure.
Methane emissions, although less enduring than carbon dioxide, are extremely potent and the amount produced by the oil and gas industry was a focus of discussion at the COP27 talks on Friday.
The Minister also said the Kingdom was on track to reach net zero emission by 2060 and may bring the target forward, depending on technology.
“We believe that date hopefully can be brought earlier but I just want to make sure that, when we commit, we deliver, but our hope is to deliver ahead of time,” he said.
Lowest cost green hydrogen?
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 showcase ourselves as an energy exporting country, because we will be working hard in exporting hydrogen along with oil, along with liquid gases,” he told Reuters. “We’ll hopefully be doing electricity too.”
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 a year by 2027.
Environmental campaigners tend to be wary of carbon capture on the grounds 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 economic crisis and the disruption of Russian supplies as a result of the Ukraine war.
They say under-investment in fossil fuels has helped to cause the price spikes of this year that have driven inflation to multi-decade highs, and that oil and gas must be developed alongside renewable energy.
“You need to invest to decarbonise existing resources, like oil and gas, while building your renewable sectors. That needs to happen in parallel,” Aramco Chief, Amin Nasser, said on Friday.