Financing ESG projects a challenging task: Goldman Sachs MD

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LONDON: Global environmental, social, and governance assets are on track and expected to hit $41 trillion by the end of this year, and $50 trillion by 2025, as the Public Investment Fund continues to enhance ESG integration across its portfolio, governor of the Saudi sovereign fund said.

While speaking at the Future Investment Initiative Institute regional summit in London on Friday, Yasir Al-Rumayyan said that PIF is developing its ESG strategy as a part of its broader long-term strategy aimed at achieving net-zero emissions in the country by 2060.

Hydrocarbon products: The building blocks of energy transition

The PIF Governor predicted that hydrocarbons will be the building blocks of energy transition in the future, aimed at reducing carbon emissions. He also made it clear that it is practically impossible to switch directly from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, as it is a complex process that needs time.

Al-Rumayyan added that PIF is investing in renewable energy sources like solar power plants.

Talking about the potential of blue hydrogen, he said, “We have invested in carbon capture, this will lead us to blue hydrogen. We will be major when it comes to blue hydrogen.”

He added, “We will get rid of all liquid and focus on gas and renewable energy.”

The PIF governor also revealed that Saudi Arabia has launched seven solar and wind projects that could power 600,000 households.

PIF elevating the living quality in Saudi Arabia

Talking about the current scenario in Saudi Arabia, Al-Rumayyan revealed that a drastic transformation and progress is happening in the Kingdom, as the house ownership rate in the country went up from 47 percent to 60 percent in 2020.

He revealed that the aim is to increase the homeownership rate to 70 percent, along with creating 1.8 million jobs under PIF by 2050.

Al-Rumayyan added that PIF is aiming to generate 70 percent of the Kingdom’s energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030.

He noted that PIF is taking various steps to ensure green energy generation.

“NEOM launched the largest green hydrogen project worth $5 billion a year ago. Back to hydrogen, brown, blue or green, it has no color but the means of using it is what matters. PIF is now establishing a new hydrogen company, it will be like a mediator in many of our initiatives,” said Al-Rumayyan.

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