Home » Kearney Survey: 7 in 10 KSA residents believe serious action should be taken within in the next 5 years to mitigate the effects climate change

Kearney Survey: 7 in 10 KSA residents believe serious action should be taken within in the next 5 years to mitigate the effects climate change

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Riyadh, KSA, 3 November 2022: 7 in 10 UAE survey respondents cite climate change as a serious crisis with KSA residents believing urgent action should be taken within the next five years to minimize its impact and secure a more sustainable future. This is according to a survey by leading global management consultancy firm Kearney that explores KSA residents’ outlook towards sustainability initiatives.

The survey comes ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference COP 27 later this month, where climate change will take center stage, globally. A key theme of the conference will be to address how the global community can work together to advance national interests and help achieve global climate goals to safeguard the word’s future under the tagline of ‘Together For Implementation’. The majority of KSA residents believe that addressing climate change will have a positive impact on cultural and social issues around the world, with 70% believing that climate change has a deep impact on the livelihoods of people in different countries. 59% highlighted that social imbalances could be corrected to a certain degree by countries taking collective action towards combatting climate change.

“In the past decade, countries in the Middle East region have made sustainability a key priority with notable efforts to shift away from the reliance on oil by investing in more renewable energy sources. We’ve seen strategies such as the KSA Net Zero 2060 and the UAE Net Zero 2050 come into place to combat climate change at a national level, and multiple clean energy initiatives. With COP 27 and COP 28 to be hosted in Egypt and the UAE respectively, we anticipate an increase of international investment into the region that will accelerate sustainable development,” commented Mauricio Zuazua, Partner at Kearney Middle East.

The KSA Net Zero by 2060 strategic initiative is a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060. 43% of residents believe the country is on the right track to achieving this target, with 63% highlighting that corporates have a significant role to play in driving this. 64% believe corporations need to do more to slow down climate change, and 61% state that new technologies should be implemented to mitigate the climate crisis.

“In the past, businesses have been running on one bottom line, however, they now need to rethink their strategies and adopt a triple bottom line concept. People and planet need to come at par with profit to ensure sustainable growth, and technological integration across the value chain is critical to implementing this. By investing in and adopting new technologies such as AI and Big Data, corporations can come up with innovative solutions to reduce their impact on the environment and be more sustainable. This will also be for key for businesses to gain the trust of consumers,” added Zuazua.

While corporates have a big task on their hands, 61% highlight that individual contributions are also key role in supporting national sustainability goals. 63% are willing to make notable changes in their lifestyle in efforts to slow down climate change. 59% claim to gravitate towards products and services of companies, whichhave substantial ESG practices and protocols in place such as sustainable products, green certifications, as well as transparent reporting on emissions. 51% are willing to pay a small premium more for sustainably produced products – a sentiment consistent amongst all income groups surveyed.

While the general intention to live more sustainably exists with individual citizens, 63% reveal they would be even more inclined to act on this if there were stricter rules implemented by governments in encouragement, including stricter regulations in areas such as car emissions, plastic usage, green labelling on white goods, retrofitting old appliances, and others.

To ensure the future generation is more environmentally inclined, 63% believe awareness of the impact of climate change on societies needs to be instilled from a young age.

“With sustainability being a priority, transforming the community’s behaviors to reduce the environmental footprint of corporations and individuals is crucial. These changes will ultimately contribute to a healthier environment, which is vital to maintaining a sustainable and high quality of life. The KSA has set up initiatives to meet the country’s sustainability goals like enhancing energy efficiency in buildings, road transport and industry processes through the Saudi Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) 2025. The Kingdom has also implemented a Saudi Green Initiative, an all-encompassing initiative including an aim to plant 10 billion trees in the coming decade and a commitment to have 50% of its power sourced from renewable sources by 2030. In 2017, the Saudi authorities recommended that single-use plastic bags be replaced with oxo-biodegradable plastic bags, however, it is crucial for stricter regulations to be put in place to ensure the country and region paves the way for more sustainable future,” concludes Zuazua.

Photo credit: Amanderson2/Flickr

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