Saudi Arabia has in fact ratified the Kyoto Protocol. For those who don’t know what that is, it is basically just a pledge that any country can take that would obligated heavy emitters of greenhouse gases, to make efforts to try and reduce their emissions. Countries that do not pollute as much can voluntarily participate in reducing their carbon foot print but most industrialized countries are required to. Now I say most because, in reality, Saudi Arabia is an industrialized country but for whatever reason, the UN does not recognize that, even besides the fact that the country ranks 13 on a per capita basis.
Saudi Arabia has not taken any actions as of yet to move towards alternative energy, but they have recently revealed that they are planning to generate 100 percent of their power from renewable energy in the upcoming years.
Saudi Arabia recognizes the fact that their oil and natural gas reserves are running low and as a country they have decided to preserve it so that is can be used for the creation of goods such as plastics and polymers, rather than be burnt in power plants to produce electricity. According to OilPrice.com, Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, one of Saudi Arabia’s spokesmen, has said:
“Oil is more precious for us underground than as a fuel source. If we can get to the point where we can replace fossil fuels and use oil to produce other products that are useful, that would be very good for the world.”
The country is yet to comment if they will continue to export oil to other countries around the world, which I’m sure they will, but I’m happy that at least they are planning to go green locally. Research performed at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran estimates that the country’s solar radiation intake per square meter is between 4.5 to 7 kilowatts of energy. Saudi Arabia obviously has the means to make this a reality. It’s just a matter of investing time and money to get this done.
The Islamic city of Mecca was also a somewhat important factor as to why the country of Saudi Arabia decided to push towards renewable energy. According to RenewableEnergyWorld.com, Mayor Osama al-Bar, said that:
“No city in Saudi Arabia owns power-generation assets, and we want to be first city that owns power plants and hopefully the first in the Muslim world.”
As you can see, Mecca and the entire county of Saudi Arabia for that matter, want to be a model for other primary Islamic countries to join them in the move into the worlds next generation, green era.