Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC) has announced its new sustainability strategy for the Saudi capital, including 68 ambitious initiatives and projects across five sectors: energy and climate change, air quality, water management, waste management, biodiversity, and natural areas.
HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Board of Directors of RCRC had on Saturday (October 23) launched the Riyadh Sustainability Strategy at the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, among global experts and industry leaders to address the environmental challenges that the city and region are facing.
“We are determined to transform Riyadh into one of the most sustainable cities in the world,” he stated, GDNonline reports.
Riyadh Sustainability Strategy will see carbon emissions in the city reduced by 50%. In addition, there will be SR346 billion ($92 billion) invested in sustainability initiatives and projects, stimulating the private sector, he added.
RCRC Chief Executive Officer Fahd Al Rasheed emphasized the efficient management of natural resources, referring to an investment of SR30 billion ($8 billion) to increase the use of treated water for irrigation in Riyadh from 11% to 100%.
This will ensure every drop used is recycled, making the capital’s water consumption more sustainable.
The plans also commit to investing nearly SR56 billion ($15 billion) in waste management projects to recycle 94% of waste into energy.
According to him, Riyadh’s new sustainability strategy will positively impact livability across the city.
Al Rasheed pointed out that at the time of completion, the King Abdulaziz Project for Public Transport in Riyadh will boost the adoption of public transportation in the city from 5% to 20%, driven by an SR112.5 billion ($30 billion) investment that is expected to reduce the number of daily trips by one million, which will result in a reduction of roughly 1.5 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
By 2030, the capital plans to reach electric vehicle usage to up to 30% on the roads.
He said the environmental investments announced by HRH Crown Prince would save the city between SR40 to 65 billion ($11 to 17.3 billion).
This saving is due to improving the level of infrastructure efficiency, lowering energy and water consumption, and reducing the cost of healthcare, by improving public health, he noted.
According to him, RCRC is investing SR30 billion ($8 billion) in projects such as the Green Riyadh initiative, one of Riyadh’s four mega projects and a significant contributor to the Sustainable Development Goals Index.
The Green Riyadh and Riyadh Sustainability initiatives aim to plant 15 million trees and increase the per capita share of green space from 1.7 sq m to 28 sq m, within urban areas by 2030.
This will lower city temperatures by 1.5° to 2° C and reduce the central radiant temperature in the range of 8 to 15 degrees in the shade.
More than 3,300 neighborhood parks of varying sizes and 43 major city parks will be built in Riyadh’s city to improve the quality of life.
“Our parks will foster a sense of community, strengthen our residents’ connection with their environment and improve the quality of life for citizens across the capital,” he added.
Al Rasheed said the RCRC is set to invest another SR30 billion ($8 billion) to increase energy production from renewable sources by 50%, thus making the city’s energy mix more sustainable.
“Creating 350,000 new jobs and adding an incremental SR150 billion to the local economy by the end of the decade,” he added.
The Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, convened international and regional leaders to motivate consensus to deliver against shared environmental commitments, and inspire the action to tackle climate change. You may read about the summit here.