Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 Strategy - The future of energy

As the UK hosts COP26, CMEC Director Charlotte Leslie speaks to Dr Hoda Al-Helassie - a member of the Kingdom's advisory Shura Council, and Dr Yousef Alshammari - an expert in the future of oil and in alternative energy at OPEC, about the rapid change Saudi Arabia is currently under going through its Vision 2030 strategy.

Climate change is forcing the world to wean itself off fossil fuels, and this means huge change in particular for the oil-producing countries in the Middle East.

Saud Arabia is playing a key role in the region with its own strategy called Vision 2030. This is primarily aimed at diversifying and de-carbonising the Saudi economy, which is currently heavily reliant on oil. Saudi Arabia has a target of Zero Carbon emissions by 2060. As part of this, the Kingdom is building a giant smart city called Neom, and has earmarked $1 trillion to invest in tourism.

Saudi Arabia has managed massive change before, in the decades following the discovery of oil. But what impact could the rapid change and transformation envisaged in Vision 2030 have on a kingdom with Islam at its heart, and where conservative voices still have influence?

Charlotte Leslie discusses these changes with Dr Hoda Al-Helassie, a member of the Kingdom's advisory Shura Council, and Dr Yousef Alshammari, an expert in the future of oil and in alternative energy at OPEC. Dr Alshammari is the CEO and Head of Oil Research of CMarkits, London.

This is the first in a series of podcasts related to Vision 2030 which CMEC is producing in partnership with the King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies.

The views expressed in the recording are those of the speakers alone.