Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil-exporting company, has pledged to become a net-zero enterprise by 2050, its chief said, shortly after the kingdom announced its aim to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2060.
There is a need to work on existing energy sources in parallel with investing in new sources, Mr. Amin Nasser, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aramco said during the Saudi Green Initiative forum.
“Saudi Aramco will aim to achieve the ambition of being net-zero from our operations by 2050. The road will be complex but I am confident we can meet them and accelerate our efforts to a low-carbon future,” Mr. Nasser noted.
Aramco’s net-zero pledge applies to emissions from the company’s own operations or from the generation of power and heat to its assets, classified as Scope 1 and Scope 2. It doesn’t apply to Scope 3, which is generated by customers burning its fuels and makes up more than 80 percent of the company’s total emissions.
Mr. Nasser, while making the announcement, expressed his concern for the “fast” decline in global spare capacity, which he put at 3 million to 4 million barrels a day currently, due to the reopening of economies around the world. So, Saudi Aramco will keep investing in building crude production capacity.
“While maintaining our existing resources and growing it over the next 10 years, we will be achieving net-zero by 2050, so we’re not abandoning our existing sources of energy, at the same time we have big investment in renewables through hydrogen, non-combustible uses of oil like crude to chemicals, non-metallics,” Mr. Nasser said.
In line with the COP26 climate summit, several countries have pledged to aim for net-zero emissions by 2050, while global airlines, banks and other companies are also targeting the mid-century goal.
“This is a historical announcement. It will create the right platforms for Saudi Aramco and other entities in the kingdom to follow suit,” Mr. Nasser said.
Saudi Aramco’s pledge is similar to those made by European energy majors such as Royal Dutch Shell and BP, and it puts the company ahead of US firms Chevron and Exxon Mobil.
The year 2050 has become a focus for carbon neutrality, defined as attaining a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.