UK and Saudi Arabia sign clean energy agreement

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The UK and Saudi Arabia have agreed to work much closer on issues of clean energy and climate change.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at the UK’s Cabinet Office during an official visit from the Saudi Arabian government last week.

The deal means the two countries will share technical expertise and knowledge to reduce carbon emissions and accelerate the low-carbon economy. Some of the technologies they will now work on include electric vehicles, carbon capture and storage, and smart grids.

The MoU also commits the two states to hosting an annual UK-Saudi Energy and Industry Dialogue to discuss further ways advance sustainability issues.

Both countries are keen to promote their long-term economic plans, and see closer cooperation as one way of doing so. The UK Government released its Industrial Strategy last year which identified new sectors, such as artificial intelligence, clean energy, and digital infrastructure as a way of driving productivity and economic growth. In contrast, the Saudis’ Vision 2030 is an attempt to wean the country off its deep dependence on oil and develop other parts of its economy.

The UK’s Business Secretary Greg Clark commented: “Our Industrial Strategy sets out a long-term plan to build a Britain fit for the future. This means equipping our economy to take advantage of new opportunities and build resilience to new risks”.

“The global shift to clean growth is one of the most foreseeable and significant global economic trends and will transform many sectors of the economy, including power, transport, construction, energy-intensive industries and agriculture. This Memorandum of Understanding will help both the UK and Saudi Arabia make the most of this shift”, he added

Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Khalid A Al-Falih said:

“Through our Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has a blueprint to guide its future development through diversifying our energy mix, expanding on key industries and mining opportunities, as well as investing on science and innovation to meet current challenges”.

Photo Credit: BEIS

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