The UK Minister of State at the Cabinet Office and President of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26); Alok Sharma is to officially visit Saudi Arabia in August to meet several officials; including Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.
According to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), Sharma; who also served as Britain’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, will hold talks on strengthening UK-Saudi cooperation in the fields of energy and climate.
He will primarily focus on efforts to promote the circular carbon economy model.
Discussions will also include reducing, reusing, recycling and removing carbon from the air; using and producing clean fuel, and encouraging renewable energy sources.
Both Saudi Arabia and the UK had previously set their “ambition for climate and environment cooperation; especially concerning capacity building and the exchange of experiences between the two Kingdoms,” dpa sources reported.
During Sharma’s upcoming visit, it is expected that new opportunities for partnership between the two kingdoms will be discussed. These partnerships would cover cooperation in the fields of space, mining, pharmaceuticals and aviation.
The minister will likely review preparations for the 26th session of the COP26, scheduled for November 1-2 in Glasgow.
In other news, non-oil trade between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain rose by 18% to $781mn during the second quarter of 2021, compared to a year earlier as more trucks crossed the King Fahd Causeway.
According to the latest figures released by Bahrain’s eGovernment and Information Authority, Saudi trade accounted for around half of Bahrain’s total trade with the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members.
The trade volume between Bahrain and the Gulf countries for the first half of 2021 amounted to about $3.45 billion, compared to $2.88 billion in the first half of 2020.