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Wed 2 Dec 2015 09:43 AM

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Saudi Arabia says clean energy spending needed to fight warming

Oil minister Ali al-Naimi commits to climate change battle by pledging to double spending on research and development

Saudi Arabia says clean energy spending needed to fight warming
Saudi Arabias oil minister Ali al-Naimi. (AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said investment in clean-energy innovation is essential to the fight against climate change as the country pledged to double spending on research and development.

Saudi Arabia’s efforts “include the development of a road map for technology and research in the field of carbon management from all stationary and mobile sources and its utilization in industrial areas and for enhanced oil recovery,” al-Naimi said statement that was dated Monday and e-mailed on Tuesday. “The kingdom also invests in the development and implementation of energy efficiency technologies and in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy.”

The world’s biggest oil exporter was one of 20 nations that made the pledge to double clean energy spending, as part of a joint initiative with a group of investors led by Microsoft Corp. billionaire Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. As part of the deal, the nations promise to step up expenditure, and the philanthropists then aim to invest in start-up companies in those countries to further advance early-stage technologies.

Saudi Arabia’s emphasis on research into technology that can clean up emissions from the oil industry shows how it’s trying to engage in United Nations climate talks while still preserving its main industry. Envoys from 195 nations are gathered in Paris to broker a new deal on climate change that would for the first time bind all countries to limit their fossil fuel emissions.

“Our common goal is to address climate change in a way that makes it possible to pursue economic development in a sustainable manner,” al-Naimi said.

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