Net zero targets
We evaluate the target as: Target information incomplete.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced Saudi Arabia’s net zero target for 2060 at the first Saudi Green Initiative Forum in October 2021 (SGI, 2021).
The announcement to date lacks detailed information on scope, target architecture, and transparency. For example, the target’s emission coverage remains unclear with the CAT currently assuming that only CO2 emissions are being covered based on scarce available information. Saudi Arabia further makes no reference to emissions of its exported oil and gas. Saudi Arabia has yet to submit a long-term strategy to the UNFCCC as of October 2021.
Given the preliminary nature of Saudi Arabia’s net zero target, and the lack of more detailed information, the CAT does not evaluate Saudi Arabia’s net zero target. We will do so once further information is communicated by the government.
Ten key elements
- Target year – Saudi Arabia aims to reach net zero by 2060.
- Emissions coverage – Saudi Arabia provides no explicit information on the sectors and gases covered by the net zero target (SGI, 2021), but mainly focuses on its Carbon Circular Economy approach in explaining how it intends to meet the target. For this reason, the CAT currently assumes Saudi Arabia’s target currently only covers CO2 emissions.
- International aviation and shipping – Saudi Arabia provides no information on its intention to cover international aviation and shipping.
- Reductions or removals outside of own borders – Saudi Arabia provides no information on its intention to use international offset credits to meet its net zero target.
- Legal status – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced Saudi Arabia’s net zero target at the first Saudi Green Initiative Forum (SGI, 2021). Saudi Arabia has not submitted a Long-Term Strategy (LTS) to the UNFCCC as of October 2021.
- Separate reduction & removal targets – Saudi Arabia provides no information on its intention to communicate separate emission reduction and removal targets.
- Review process – Saudi Arabia provides no information on its intention to establish a review cycle for its net zero and intermediate targets.
- Carbon dioxide removal – Saudi Arabia provides no information on its intention to communicate transparent assumptions on carbon dioxide removals.
- Comprehensive planning – Saudi Arabia provides no comprehensive planning on how it aims to achieve its net zero by 2060, missing to communicate specific underlying pathways, detailed measures, and interim targets to date. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated that Saudi Arabia replies on the Carbon Circular Economy approach to meet its net zero target and makes no reference to emissions of the oil and gas exported by Saudi Arabia (SGI, 2021). The Carbon Circular Economy approach, however, only addresses a fraction of relevant emissions from oil and gas production through carbon capture and storage technologies, but most emissions come from fuel combustion rather than oil and gas extraction and processing.
- Clarity on fairness of target – Saudi Arabia provides no information on its intention to explain the target’s fairness.
The Climate Action Tracker has defined the following good practice for all ten key elements of net zero targets. Countries can refer to this good practice to design or enhance their net zero targets.