Media Statement


Overview of the Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative


March 31, 2021



  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recognizes the importance of protecting the environment, combating climate change, and facing environmental challenges in the region, which have clearly shown in high temperatures, low rainfall, high dust waves and desertification; creating an economic threat to the region.

  • Today, we announce "The Saudi Green Initiative" and "The Middle East Green Initiative", the two initiatives that are to be launched soon, aim to chart a path for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region in protecting the planet, by clearly defining an ambitious road map that rallies the region and significantly contributes to achieving global targets in confronting climate change.

  • Today's announcement aims to join efforts with Middle Eastern countries and commence work with the aim of announcing in the fourth quarter of this year detailed plans for initiatives and the mechanisms to achieve them, this effort will result in enhanced public health and will raise the quality of life for citizens and residents in the region. 


What is the Saudi Green Initiative?

  • An ambitious national initiative for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Aiming to improve the quality of life and protecting future generations, it includes several goals, namely: (increasing the level of vegetation cover, reducing carbon emissions, combating pollution and land degradation, and preserving marine life).


  • The Initiative will entail a number of ambitious initiatives, most  notably:
    • The Planting of (10 Billion) Trees within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
    • Reducing carbon emissions by more than (4%) of global contributions.
    • Launching an ambitious renewable energy program that will increase the share of energy from renewables from (0.3%) to (50%) by 2030.



What is the Middle East Green Initiative?

  • An initiative for the region that aims to coordinate efforts and keep abreast with regional and international developments, which the Kingdom launches as a road map for the region; contributing significantly to achieving the global targets to confront climate change, through various initiatives, such as:


    • Enhancing the efficiency of hydrocarbon technologies in the region.
    • Launching the largest reforestation plan in the world, which aims to plant (50) fifty billion trees in the Middle East region, representing (5%) of the global target for planting one trillion trees, and achieving a reduction of (2.5%) of global carbon rates. These joint efforts will contribute to achieving a reduction in carbon emissions by more than ( 10%) ten percent of the global contributions.


How the Middle East Green Initiative will work?

  • In partnership with sister countries in the Cooperation Council for the Arab Gulf States and Middle Eastern countries, and in cooperation with all international allies we aim to work jointly on achieving the goals of the Middle East Green Initiative.


  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will hold an annual Summit titled "The Middle East Green Initiative" which will convene leaders of government, ministers and officials in the environmental field to discuss and outline the details of the initiatives and the mechanism
    for their implementation. We aim to start execution of the initiatives from the fourth quarter of this year, and across the upcoming two decades.


Separately, The Kingdom will establish a non-profit organization to hold the Summit, support and monitor achieving the goals of the initiatives.


  • The Kingdom fully recognize the challenges facing the region from the scarcity of water, financial and technical resources to geographic terrain. Therefore, the Kingdom will work in
    partnership with the countries of the region to research innovative mechanisms to financing these initiatives for recourse deprived countries, we will share technologies and expertise among countries to support reducing carbon emissions resulting from oil production
    in the region. We will jointly develop innovative methods to irrigate from treated water, cloud seeding and other resources, and propose other solutions such as: planting trees suitable for the region (native trees) that require irrigation for (3) three years only, and then may grow with natural irrigation in due course. The Middle East Green Initiative Summit will address any challenges that may arise and will work to develop solutions to address them.


The Kingdom's achievements in the last 4 years:

    • Completed a comprehensive restructuring of the Environmental Sector.
    • Established The Environmental Special Forces in 2019.
    • Raised the percentage of natural reserves from 4% to more than 14% .
    • Increased vegetation covers by 400/0 in the past 4 years.
    • Achieved the most efficient levels of carbon emissions of hydrocarbon producing countries.
    • Launched one of the world's largest green hydrogen production projects in NEOM, with an estimated cost of (5,000,000,000) five billion US dollars, with a capacity of roughly (650) six hundred and fifty tons per day.


Fact and figures:

    • Desertification and air pollution pose significant and immediate climate and economic challenges for Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Billions of dollars are lost every year due to sand storms, and air pollution from Green House Gas emissions is estimated to have shortened life expectancy in Saudi Arabia by 1.5 years.
    • Sandstorms have increased since the nineteenth century by (25%) in the world.
    • It is estimated that coral reefs are threatened with extinction by 2050.
    • The share of clean energy production in the Middle East today does not exceed 7%.




Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Pretoria  





P.O Box 13930, Hatfield, 0028, Tel: (012) 362 4230, Fax: (012) 362 4239