A gasoline tanker owned by the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco, now Saudi Aramco), Saudi Arabia, circa 1955 (Getty)
A gasoline tanker owned by the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco, now Saudi Aramco), Saudi Arabia, circa 1955 (Getty)

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Saudi Arabia plots life after oil

Saudi Arabia yesterday approved a 15 year plan aimed at restructuring the Kingdom’s economy to make it less dependent on oil.

Under the plans, major state-owned assets would be privatised taxes would be increased and subsides would be cut.

The Guardian reports that shares in the Riyadh stock market rose sharply on the announcement of Saudi Vision 2030, which was made by King Salman bin Abdulaziz on television.

Prince Mohammad bin Salman, believed to be the country’s de facto ruler, told Al Arabiya television that Saudi Arabia could make the transition away from oil as soon as 2020.

“We have an addiction to oil. This is dangerous. I think that by 2020 we can live without it,” he said.

Oil exports currently make up 90% of the country’s income, making the Prince’s comments extraordinary.

The Telegraph calls the new economic plan, with its focus on privatisation and state downsizing, “Thatcherite”; though it’s unlikely Saudi rulers would find much to admire in the work of a strong, female leader.

In the FT, David Gardner presents a thoughtful quick-fire analysis of whether the reforms will actually work.

Paris agreement: Remaining countries could sign deal this year

Countries which together make up half of the world’s carbon emissions are likely to join the Paris agreement on climate change this year, according to the White House.

At least 34 countries, accounting for 49% of emissions, signed the agreement at a high-profile ceremony on Friday.

It is hoped that once the remaining nation’s agree the deal, action’s aimed at curbing climate change can be halted.

Despite the optimism, the Guardian reports that scientists are warning that more needs to be done to avert climate change, and ween countries off their addiction to fossil fuels.

Elsewhere, Brazil President Dilma Rousseff has promised to take the agreement for approval at Congress, despite facing a possible impeachment.

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