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Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Transport and Logistics addresses the Low Carbon Innovation Forum

On the 28th September, a Saudi Arabian delegation led by H.E Minister of Transport and Logistic Services, Saleh Al Jasser, met the Secretary General of the IMO, Kitack Lim, and signed three partnership agreements to fund the preparation of a new project targeting ship based emissions as well as projects to reduce biofouling and marine plastic litter.

The Minister of Transport then attended the second day of the virtual IMO-UNEP-Norway “Zero and Low Emissions Innovation forum” aimed at accelerating discussion and action on the transition of the maritime sector to a future of low and zero emissions. During this forum, which was broadcast live on UNTV, the Minister spoke about Saudi Arabia’s continued and increasing commitments to climate mitigation globally and within the maritime sector as well as highlighting its commitments to the IMO.

Below is a transcript taken of the Minister’s speech,

Thank you for the opportunity to address this event.

I’d like to start by speaking about some initiatives my country has recently undertaken in the fields of investment and innovation and then talk about how we can and must collaborate in achieving our common aims.

Earlier this year, the Kingdom demonstrated its commitment to a greener future by launching the Saudi Green Initiative and The Middle East Green Initiative that will 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.

The Saudi Green Initiative will work to reduce carbon emissions by more than 4% of global contributions, through an ambitious renewable energy program that will generate 50% of the Kingdom’s energy from renewables by 2030, and several other projects in the fields of clean hydrocarbon technologies, estimated to eliminate more than 130 MT of carbon emissions.

Whilst there is still a lot more to be done, the Kingdom is determined to make a lasting global impact including in the maritime sector. The Kingdom will work with regional and global partners to transfer our knowledge and share our experiences, which will contribute to reducing carbon emissions. All these initiatives are a continuation of the leading environmental efforts by the Kingdom over the past few years in line with our Vision 2030 and with the initiatives launched under Saudi chairmanship of the G20. We know that we are going to face some tough choices if we are to meet our goal. But we are convinced that climate action will enhance competitiveness, spark innovation, and create millions of high-quality jobs. Young people are demanding a cleaner, greener and more inclusive future, and we owe it to them to deliver on this. Collaboration will be absolutely vital, and this is why the IMO’s greenhouse gas strategy is so important for it provides us with a global roadmap for maritime decarbonisation rather than a patchwork of regional or national strategies and policies. The IMO has my country’s full support in its endeavours, and we want to engage actively and contribute actively in discussions at the IMO.

We also know that it is technological innovation and the development of alternative future fuels that will be key to progress. But it’s equally important that we ensure that innovations in these areas are inclusive and coordinated. No one country can do this alone and no country should be left behind. We need both the North and the South to get connected in this innovation ecosystem and we need all stakeholders to be around the innovation table including stakeholders across the value chain.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is therefore proud to contribute to the efforts of the IMO to ensure that there will be a coordination of actions to reduce emission from shipping, especially those actions related to innovation and R&D, knowledge transfer, technology demonstrations, technology diffusion and eventually technology uptake by the industry.

Without these key actions and connecting and coordinating these actions, we will not achieve our climate goals. This is the main motivation for KSA to contribute to IMO's CARES foundation project that will aim to do exactly what it says on the tin - Coordination of Actions to Reduce Emissions from Shipping - IMO CARES. Today, KSA demonstrated our commitment to be part of these global efforts when I had the honour of signing a partnership agreement with the IMO Secretary General, Mr Kitack Lim, that will financially support the preparation and design of a new global project concept to implement the IMO CARES idea which IMO can then present to the interested partners and donors for full implementation. We are very confident that this agreement is fully in line with the spirit and theme of this innovation forum and will allow the IMO to connect the dots to ensure the much-needed maritime innovation process will be inclusive while beneficial for all involved.

I am also pleased to inform you that in the course of my visit to the IMO today I signed another set of agreements with the IMO Secretary General that will allow Saudi Arabia to contribute to and co-finance two other great IMO initiatives - the GloFouling project that has relevance for greenhouse gas emissions and the GloLitter Project that tackles marine plastic litter issues. Once again this demonstrates our commitment to the IMO's goals and towards the sustainable development goals, namely SDG 13 and 14, and we look forward to exploring further how IMO and KSA can strengthen such partnership in future.

To conclude I wish to thank the IMO for inviting me to this Forum and thank the joint-Organisers for organising this very timely event. I also wish to thank the IMO Secretary General for signing the partnership agreements today and we look forward to fruitful outcomes of this partnership to catalyse maritime innovations that will be inclusive.

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