Saudi Arabia’s NEOM the ideal symbol ahead of COP26

NEOM Receives a Delegation of American Evangelical Christians During their Visit to Saudi Arabia

Ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26 ), Saudi Arabia provided an idol symbol for the participants by the huge environmental development in the NEOM project.

Neom plans for 6,500 hectares (16,000 acres) of the surrounding land to become agricultural fields, and to rely heavily on genetically engineered crops.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference that is scheduled to be held in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, between 31 October and 12 November 2021, under the presidency of the United Kingdom.

The conference is set to incorporate the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 16th meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP16), and the third meeting of the parties to the Paris Agreement.

The conference is the first time that parties are expected to commit to enhanced ambition since COP21. Parties are required to carry out every five years, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, a process colloquially known as the ‘ratchet mechanism’.

The venue for the conference is the SEC Centre in Glasgow. Originally due to be held in November 2020 at the same venue, the event was postponed for twelve months in light of the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland.

Saudi Arabia launched Neom project which is a planned cross-border city in the Tabuk Province of northwestern Saudi Arabia.

It is planned to incorporate smart city technologies and also function as a tourist destination. The site is north of the Red Sea, east of Egypt across the Strait of Tiran, and Jordan.

It will cover a total area of 26,500 km2 (10,200 sq mi) and will extend 460 km along the coast of the Red Sea.

Saudi Arabia aims to complete the first section of Neom by 2025 as the project has an estimated cost of $500 billion.

On January 29, 2019, Saudi Arabia announced that it had set up a closed joint-stock company named Neom with $500 billion as the aim of this company, which is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund, is to develop the economic zone of Neom. The project is planned to be totally powered by renewable energy sources.

The city was announced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 24, 2017.

He said it will operate independently from the “existing governmental framework” with its own tax and labor laws and an “autonomous judicial system.”

Egypt announced in 2018 that it is contributing some land to the Neom project.

The initiative emerged from Saudi Vision 2030, a plan that seeks to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors.

Plans call for robots to perform functions such as security, logistics, home delivery, and caregiving[14] and for the city to be powered solely with wind and solar power.

Because the city will be designed and constructed from scratch, other innovations in infrastructure and mobility have been suggested. Planning and construction will be initiated with $500 billion from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and international investors. The first phase of the project is scheduled for completion by 2025.

In July 2020, the US’s Air Products & Chemicals Inc announced that it will build the world’s largest green hydrogen plant in Saudi Arabia. The US$5 billion project will be jointly owned by Air Products, Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and Neom.

The name of “Neom” was constructed from two words, as the first three letters form the Ancient Greek prefix Neo- meaning “new” while the fourth letter is from the abbreviation of Arabic‎ word for “future.”

The NEOM project is located in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia in the northwest of the kingdom, extended along with Aqaba Gulf and 468 km of coastline with beaches and coral reefs, as well as mountains up to 2,500 m high, with a total area of around 26,500 sq. km.

Some of the illustrations for the NEOM project were taken from the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, leaving commentators to note: “using an actual shot of Singapore to depict an upcoming construction project in Saudi Arabia is an odd choice.”

The development work of the project’s first phase, Neom Bay, was planned to start in the first quarter of 2019 and be completed by 2020. The developments were to include constructing the airport at Sharma which would operate regular commercial flights between Riyadh and Neom. The plan of Neom Bay’s developments also involves building the first residential area in Neom as part of phase 1.

NEOM project is the cornerstone in supporting the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 in terms of diversifying sources of income and is featured by its uniqueness in terms of the future of the vision and the magnitude and diversity of businesses and projects.
Italy will partner with the UK in leading COP26. For the most part, their role will be in preparatory work such as the hosting of a pre-COP session and an event for young people called Youth4Climate 2020: Driving Ambition.