Remarks at the Mission Innovation Launch Event
by H.E. Ali Al-Haimi
Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
November 30, 2015
Members of the Initiative,
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia realizes that climate change is a challenge, and that with every challenge comes an opportunity. We believe that meeting this challenge is possible through human genius and technological research and development.
Access to energy in today’s world has helped create economic power centers, improved quality of life, and changed lifestyles over the past decades. These factors, combined together, have led to increased demand for energy. Providing everyone with reliable, affordable, and environmentally friendly access to all sources of energy has been one of our priorities.
Throughout those decades, fossil fuels have played a key role in driving development and created great ambitions in peoples, with many developing nations now making strong and rapid economic progress. However, 20 percent of the world’s population still have no access to energy or sufficiently reliable electric networks.
Investment, research, and innovation in clean fossil fuel technologies and other sources of energy are, therefore, essential and should be considered priorities. The Kingdom has focused on clean energy research and innovation. Its efforts in this respect 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. The Kingdom also invests in the development and implementation of energy efficiency technologies, and in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy. Moreover, the Kingdom has established King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, King Abdullah University for Science and Technology, in addition to the existing universities and research and development cities, and has collaborated with international universities and research centers to promote innovation in clean energy technology. Kingdom provided substantial support for research and studies in this field, and these are matters of special interest by the Government of the Kingdom and supervised continuously by the Council of Economic Affairs and Development, chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
We are gathered here today to work together to launch the Mission Innovation. We want to encourage and increase support for investments in these areas, engage the public and private sectors, share expertise, and cooperate to build the capacity for innovation in all parts of the world. Our goal is to improve the standard of living at the international level, increase ambition at the national level, and achieve clean energy targets over time.
Finally, I would like to stress that encouraging investments, research, and innovation in the field of clean energy is an integral part of our effective, long-term, and collective action on climate change. Our common goal is to address climate change in a way that makes it possible to pursue economic development in a sustainable manner. We, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are optimistic about the prospects of this initiative as a step towards the realization of our shared ambitions.