PM lauds Saudi Arabia’s green initiatives; offers sharing Pakistan’s experiences

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday appreciated Saudi Arabia’s environment friendly initiative of planting 50 billion trees in the region, and offered sharing Pakistan’s experiences and lessons learnt from an identical programme.

The prime minister, in a letter to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, spoke high of the Saudi government’s plans for launching the “Saudi Green Initiative” as well as rallying the region for the larger “Green Middle East Initiative” aimed at protecting the nature and planet.

“The two initiatives, which inter alia include plantation of 10 billion trees in the Kingdom and its further upscaling to 50 billion in the region as part of the Green Middle East Initiative; expansion of protected areas to more than 30 percent; protection of marine and coastal environments; and generation of 50 percent of the Kingdom’s energy from renewables by 2030, are highly commendable,” the prime minister said.

“Have offered our support on these as there are many complementarities with our “Clean & Green Pakistan” & “10 Billion-Tree Tsunami,” he said on Twitter while sharing the copy of letter written to the Saudi Crown Prince.

Expressing deep respects for the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the prime minister said the vision of Crown Prince closely aligned with his government “Clean and Green Pakistan” initiative, which was investing in nature-based solutions to address climate change impacts in the country.

Imran Khan told the Saudi Crown Prince that after successfully planting 1 billion trees from 2014 to 2018, his government’s “10 Billion Tree Tsunami” initiative was well underway across the whole country.

“We are also expanding our protected areas – over 15 percent land and 10 percent marine area – by 2023,” he remarked.

He said his government’s initiatives have demonstrated that planting trees not only protected nature and restores ecosystem to fight climate change, it also expanded eco-tourism and created thousands of green jobs for the youth as well as local communities.

“We are also committed to shifting our energy mix towards a clean and low carbon trajectory. Like the Kingdom’s vision, we are targeting 60 percent of our energy to be clean energy by 2030, which will require a major expansion of solar, wind and hydro power generation capacity in the country,” he said.

Imran Khan said Pakistan cherished its cordial and brotherly relations with the Kingdom and extended its support for Saudi Arab’s “Green” initiative.

Imran Khan said as the two countries maintained close cooperation on climate change issues at all multilateral forums, a meaningful and structured bilateral engagement could help advance a shared vision and create mutual, beneficial opportunities for partnership.

He viewed that the challenge of climate change called for greater international collaboration and a shared aspiration for sustainable development.

“The world has no choice but to tread this green pathway and define a new development paradigm for the 21st century,” he stated and appreciated the Saudi leadership’s efforts towards the transition.

He also conveyed his best wishes for the Saudi Crown Prince’s good health and happiness as well as for continued progress and prosperity of the Saudi people.