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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will be able to call on global expertise as it seeks to drive up its carbon capture and storage sector after joining an international body focused on the technology.

The Ministry of Energy announced the Kingdom has secured membership of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute in a move that will see Saudi Arabia expand its use of the technology in the sector, reaffirming its commitment to addressing climate challenges through innovation and collaboration.

In an interview with Arab News, Khalid Abuleif, chief climate negotiator at the Ministry of Energy, stated that this membership is part of efforts to diversify its approach to reach environmental protection targets.

“The Kingdom has committed itself to cut carbon emissions by more than 278 metric tons per year by 2030, and this is not going to happen in a narrow technology framework,” Abuleif said.

“The framework that the Kingdom is utilizing is the circular carbon economy, which is a more inclusive and balanced approach,” he added.

Abuleif further elaborated that Saudi Arabia’s circular carbon economy hinges on various factors, with carbon storage technology taking a central role.

“The cooperation with the GCCSI and other international corporations will definitely allow us to make this technology a reality in the near term,” he added.

Commenting on the membership, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said: “Undoubtedly, carbon capture and storage technologies help address emissions from heavy industries, which may be challenging to reduce.”

He added: “Recognizing the importance of these technologies, the Kingdom announced in 2022 its plans to develop one of the largest carbon capture and storage centers in the world, where about 44 million tons of carbon dioxide will be captured annually, through the application of carbon capture and storage technologies in Jubail Industrial City by 2035.

“The Kingdom realizes that implementing ambitious, hoped-for climate impact projects requires building partnerships, expertise, and specialized knowledge in the region, and our membership in the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute will undoubtedly play a significant role in enhancing this.”

Speaking to Arab News, GCCSI CEO Jarad Daniels said that this membership exemplifies collective efforts in pursuit of shared global climate mitigation objectives.

“This partnership and the fact that the Saudi government has joined is just another great example of collectively working together to combine expertise and deploy these technologies at scale,” Daniels said.

He further praised the Kingdom’s climate efforts that are at the forefront of the region’s change.

“We are very excited to have Saudi Arabia joining us,” Daniels added.

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