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KSA calls for circular carbon economy, online education at G20

Published : 22 Nov 2020, 21:02

  DF News Desk

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A handout photo made available by G20 Riyadh Summit shows Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud delivering opening remarks for the G20 Riyadh Summit, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 21 November 2020. Photo: EFE/EPA/G20 RIYADH SUMMIT HANDOUT.

The king of Saudi Arabia, the current president of G20, on Sunday called on the group's members to commit to a circular carbon economy as the main driver of economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, reported EFE-EPA.

“Countries will be able to adopt technologies that are compatible for the energy transition based on the pillars of the circular carbon economy program, which are reducing emissions, reusing, recycling and eliminating,” King Salman bin Abdulaziz said during a debate at the G20 summit on safeguarding the planet.

Saudi Arabia, presiding over the G20 this year, is hosting the two-day annual summit that got underway on Saturday and is being held virtually this year.

The kingdom officially launched a national circular carbon economy program on Sunday, bin Abdulaziz said.

He called on G20 countries to “work with us to achieve the goals of this program as we continue to develop the economy”.

Saudi Arabia, the world's second largest oil producer, has several initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and move to renewable energy, he added.

Electricity generated from solar and wind energy will account for 50 percent of the power in Saudi Arabia by 2030, he said.

In addition, he asserted that "the largest green hydrogen field" in the world is currently being developed within the framework of the NEOM megaproject, an ultra-technological and modern city that Saudi Arabia is building in the desert in the north of the kingdom near the border with Jordan and off the Egyptian coast.

Earlier in the day, the Saudi education minister called for online schooling to continue because students will not be among the first segments of the population to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Hamad al-Sheik made the remarks during an event held as part of the G20 summit.

“Nobody knows how successful the vaccine will be, nor how effective it will be,” the minister said.

“My understanding from the ministry of health is these vaccines may not be ready for students because it has not been tested in younger people, they have been tested in adults,” the minister added.

Al-Sheik reviewed the measures the kingdom has adopted to promote online education, including the deployment of satellites to give everyone access to classes on the internet.

“There is a strategy where safety for the people is the high priority. We are planning to make more preparations for distance learning,” he added.

The G20 comprises Germany, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, South Korea, the United States, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and the European Union.

In addition to Spain, the permanent guest, Switzerland, Jordan and Singapore have also been invited to participate this year.