Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman is investing more than $30 billion in the hydrogen economy, with the prime aim to be one of the largest producers in the world by 2030.
Oman is also at the forefront of countries in using clean energy to produce electricity as it has solar and wind power plants.
Eng. Salim Nasser Al Aufi, Minister of Energy and Minerals, explained that the Sultanate of Oman is exerting unremitting efforts to achieve zero neutrality by 2050 through a national plan. This plan, said the minister, is based on the importance of accelerated growth of clean energy and pushing green projects and green hydrogen.
He added that the energy sector plays a pivotal role in reducing carbon emissions and cutting down the risks of climate change by increasing the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind energy, which will significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve energy efficiency.
He further noted that improving buildings and vehicles efficiency will decrease the need for energy consumption, thus reducing fuel consumption and associated emissions.
This, the minister said, will help in the gradual transition to green mobility by promoting the use of green transportation, such as electric cars.
Eng. Al Aufi added that investing in green hydrogen production projects is one of the important pillars towards achieving zero carbon neutrality, and this comes in line with Oman’s ambitions to become one of the largest hydrogen producers in the world by 2030.
He confirmed that Oman is moving at an accelerated pace to develop green hydrogen projects and has made good strides in this field, through the bidding rounds that were put forward as well as the signing of a number of agreements for green hydrogen production projects during the past period.
The Minister of Energy and Minerals also indicated that the Royal directives to establish Oman Sustainability Centre represent an important and advanced step for continuous monitoring of performance.
The Centre, explained the minister, serves as advisory body to ensure the implementation of the national plan for zero neutrality in line with the follow-up approach to achieve the goals of “Oman Vision 2040”.
In his turn, Dr. Abdullah Ali Al Amri, Chairman of the Environment Authority affirmed that Oman is moving forward to fulfill the international obligations and requirements of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, in order to protect the environment and preserve natural resources.
He pointed out that Oman is one of the leading countries that paid great and early attention to environmental preservation. Oman has implemented initiatives and projects to reduce emissions in the field of rehabilitating biodiversity, vegetation, the green and circular economy, he added.
He said that since the Sultanate of Oman’s adoption of the national strategy for an orderly transition to zero neutrality last year and the announcement of 2050 for zero neutrality at the national level, the national team for zero neutrality is working to devise plans in partnership with the sectors of energy, transportation and industry to identify the main projects, initiatives and procedures necessary to enable them to reach the national commitment to reduce emissions by 2030 till the approved year 2050.
The Chairman of the Environment Authority pointed out that Oman is currently preparing an environmental performance report, which will be submitted to the UN Secretariat next November. The report highlights all environmental efforts in reducing emissions, climate adaptation and developing biodiversity, in addition to Oman’s procedures and initiatives in the green and circular economy.
He added that Oman will also submit by the end of October the third update of the report on the specific contribution to reducing emissions to the International Organization for Climate Affairs, as this report reflects commitment to what was stated in the national strategy for an orderly transition to zero neutrality.
He stated that the coming days will witness the announcement of an environmental investment project in blue carbon, which is one of the nature-based solutions to reduce emissions, through the number of trees that will be planted in the Sultanate of Oman.
Dr. Al Amri touched on the Sultanate of Oman’s readiness to participate in the Cop28 Climate Summit, which will be held at the end of next November in the United Arab Emirates.
He explained that a steering committee was formed to highlight Oman’s efforts in various environmental fields through a pavilion to be set in the event for this purpose.