British PM touts NEOM city as model for ‘greener future’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has touted Saudi Arabia’s NEOM city as a model for a “greener future;” warning G20 leaders that the world risks failing future generations if states do not take bold steps to reduce carbon emissions.

“And if we were in Saudi Arabia today … what I would have loved to have done was to visit the exciting new city of NEOM; whose origins I was able to inspect a couple of years ago;” he said in a pre-recorded address at Saudi Arabia’s virtual G20 summit on Saturday.

“Built on the sands of fossil fuels but powered by green hydrogen, under an enviable climate, an enviably reliable sun to provide just inexhaustible solar energy, that city; that vision of NEOM represents a greener future for all of us;” the British premier added.

He also referred to his government action to address environmental concerns.

“This week I announced a 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution in the United Kingdom — a significant package that will symbiotically tackle climate change and drive our economic recovery;” Johnson said.

Johnson’s remarks also come in the wake of a damning OECD report, released on Friday; which determined that the UK was 20 days slower to react to the pandemic than its European neighbors.

The British prime minister; will also use Sunday’s session to call on those leaders yet to make net-zero commitments to make the same pledge.

“The G20 committed in March to do ‘whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic and protect lives and livelihoods’. As we meet this weekend, we must hold ourselves to account for that promise, he said in the recorded address.