1998 News Story

Oil minister addresses environment conference

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi yesterday addressed the fourth conference on the environment which is currently in progress in Buenes Aires in Argentina, and reiterated the Kingdom's concern for cooperation with the international community in the fight against environmental pollution. Minister Al-Naimi noted that Saudi Arabia had contributed positively to the formulation of the Environmental Change Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol, and hoped that measures to be taken by the industrial countries would be comprehensive and not harmful to petroleum exports that constitute the major source of a developing country's income. He expressed the hope that the industrial countries would cooperate to prevent the prejudice that exists against petroleum in these countries, such as imposition of high taxes on oil and its derivatives and extension of incentives for alternative sources of energy. Minister Al-Naimi made it clear that the Saudi delegation to the conference does not tolerate attempts to hold the developing countries responsible for honoring certain obligations, saying the Environmental Change Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol not only do not stipulate such obligations, but recognize developing countries' ongoing efforts to combat poverty and to realize a suitable level of economic and social development. He urged the industrial countries to honor their commitments as regard to transference of technology and extending financial assistance to the developing countries.