Sharm El-Sheikh, 8 November 2022 (TDI): The 2nd session of the Middle East Green Initiative Summit commenced in Egypt on Monday. The summit is held by Saudi Arabia along the sidelines of the UN Climate Conference, COP27.

The summit was initiated by the Prime Minister and Chair of the Council of Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman along with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

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Various regional and international leaders, representatives of the government, and international officials in the environment and climate change sector participated in the summit.

During his opening speech, Prime Minister and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammed Bin Salman underscored regional cooperation.

He stated that “If we are to achieve the desired objectives of the ambitious Middle East Green Initiative, continued regional cooperation & active contributions by member countries are needed to achieve global climate goals & accelerate the implementation commitments as part of international agreements.”

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While talking about the goals of the summit, he said that the first goal is centered on emissions reduction by 670 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

The second goal focuses on the plantation of 50 billion trees. This step will reduce desertification, combat dust storms, and protect against land degradation faced by Middle Eastern countries.

To achieve these goals Muhammad Bin Salman declared that Saudi Arabia will establish a secretariat for Middle East Green Initiative along with the allocation of 2.5 billion dollars to support the projects.

He also announced the initiation of the first-ever wealth fund for the Middle East, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

For their part, the leaders appreciated the efforts of Saudi Arabia and Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for hosting the summit. They affirmed that the summit will contribute to accelerating the realization of 2030 sustainable development goals.

They also affirmed that member states in the initiative will adhere to implementing their pledges and commitments within the framework of the Paris Agreement to reduce the global temperature rise.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Middle East Green Summit was also attended by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif along with the Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.