Written by By Andrew Fennell, CNN
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince declared Friday that the country, as part of its “Vision 2030” plan, aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The Crown Prince noted the Saudi aim comes as a response to the Paris Climate Agreement, which was signed by 195 countries on December 12, 2015. The agreement set global targets to drastically cut carbon emissions — and is set to come into force in 2020.
Saudi Arabia has been at the center of attention in recent weeks, following the recent arrest of nearly 100 people — including prominent royal family members, bankers and government officials — on charges of corruption.
In a bizarre twist, however, the detained individuals were then held hostage by a group of women’s rights activists in apparent protest of their treatment. Most of those detained were recently released.
Saudi authorities released 113 detainees, including a former billionaire, last Saturday, after offering them cash deals and promising them royal pardons. Prince Mohammed maintained, however, that it was never a crackdown on corruption, but “just due process.”
When asked by CNN whether that meant some of those held had been imprisoned simply because they wouldn’t play ball, he replied: “Yes,” adding: “These people have been very popular amongst society, and, if something like this happened, it should be treated very seriously and condemnably, so we must be very careful.”
CNN’s Bisha Ashraf tweeted a video of Prince Mohammed at Davos.
On the emissions target, Prince Mohammed says: “What you’ll see within Vision 2030 is we will not be able to cause more CO2 than we emit. And we will continue to diversify the economy. What we’re doing now is to build a modern economy that is based on modern technology that is based on partnerships with many nations.”
The remarks come as Saudi Arabia continues to grow oil production, currently holding production in the Gulf nation near record levels as it tries to compensate for a drop in prices.
As of November, Saudi Arabia reportedly had more than 30 million barrels of daily crude oil in the country. It is aiming to meet demand for energy “completely,” without relying on imports, according to Mohammed bin Salman.
“We are set on meeting this demand in our country, therefore, you’ll see in the future more and more supply from Saudi Arabia,” he says in the interview.
Earlier this week, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters during the Geneva Motor Show that his nation expected oil prices to stabilize at $70 per barrel and above. Al-Falih also asserted the ability of the global oil market to cope with increasing oil supply from Saudi Arabia.