Saudi Crown Prince launches zero-carbon city in NEOM business zone

By Marwa Rashad DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's crown prince on Sunday unveiled plans to build a zero carbon city at NEOM, the first major construction project for the $500 billion flagship business zone aimed at diversifying the economy of the world's largest oil exporter. Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a rare televised appearance, said the city, known as 'The Line', would extend over 170 km (105 miles) and be able to house one million residents in 'carbon-positive urban developments powered by 100% clean energy'.

Reuters January 11, 2021 05:05:25 IST
Saudi Crown Prince launches zero-carbon city in NEOM business zone

Saudi Crown Prince launches zerocarbon city in NEOM business zone

By Marwa Rashad

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's crown prince on Sunday unveiled plans to build a zero carbon city at NEOM, the first major construction project for the $500 billion flagship business zone aimed at diversifying the economy of the world's largest oil exporter.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a rare televised appearance, said the city, known as "The Line", would extend over 170 km (105 miles) and be able to house one million residents in "carbon-positive urban developments powered by 100% clean energy".

"Why should we sacrifice nature for the sake of development?" Prince Mohammed said. "We need to transform the concept of a conventional city into that of a futuristic one."

There have been few announcements regarding NEOM since it was first announced by de facto ruler Prince Mohammed to much fanfare in 2017 as a pillar of his Vision 2030 plan to rid the Saudi Arabia of its reliance on crude revenues.

A Saudi statement said construction would start in the first quarter of 2021 and that the city was expected to contribute $48 billion to the kingdom's gross domestic product and create 380,000 jobs. No value was announced for the project.

Prince Mohammed outlined key highlights of the city: zero cars, zero streets, zero carbon emissions and Artificial Intelligence.

NEOM, a 26,500 square km (10,230 square mile) high-tech development with several zones, including an industrial and logistics areas, is planned for completion in 2025.

Saudi Arabia's efforts to attract foreign capital and investment were dealt a blow in 2018 after many Western investors were unnerved by the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate which triggered an international furore.

Last year, a sharp drop in oil prices and the outbreak of COVID-19 dealt a blow to the Saudi economy.

(Reporting by Marwa Rashad, Ghaida Ghantous and Nayera Abdallah; Editing by Alexander Smith and Bernadette Baum)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.