Good morning, MENA — wow, did you keep us busy yesterday. We’re kicking off September with a bang, kicking yesterday’s one-day climate news drought to the curb as the new month gets underway with a deluge of announcements from different corners of the industry.
This is our final issue of Enterprise Climate for the week. We published Monday-Thursday, so we’ll see you back in your inboxes next week.
THE BIG CLIMATE STORY- Qatar goes big on blue ammonia: QatarEnergy has inked agreements to build USD 1 bn blue ammonia plant. It will have an annual production capacity of 1.2 mn tons when it’s completed in 2026. We have more on this in this morning’s news well, below.
The World Conference on Climate Change and Sustainability kicks off today in Frankfurt, Germany. The gathering aoms to bring together “a range of key actors from institutions, governments, cities and communities, the private sector, and civil society, to make the world more climate-resilient.” You can also attend the event online by registering here.
Africa Climate Week continues in Gabon today: More than 1.2k African officials and climate experts are gathering this week in Libreville, Gabon, for the UN- and World Bank-led event to discuss climate issues ahead of COP27. Gabonese president, Ali Bongo Adimba, yesterday urged African governments to develop climate strategies and work on their negotiating positions ahead of the summit in November, the Associated Press reported.
Talk, but little action: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had some choice words for developed nations, many of which he said were “backtracking” on their financial commitments and holding Africa back from adapting to climate change. “The international community is lagging behind in mitigation, adaptation and finance. Several pledges on mitigation and adaptation finance celebrated in Glasgow are yet to be delivered,” he said. “The delayed delivery of climate finance continues to affect Africa’s efforts to contribute to the global effort against climate change.”
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THE BIG CLIMATE STORY OUTSIDE THE REGION- G20 fails to set its climate priorities (surprise, surprise): The G20 environment officials came up short and failed to agree on a communique on climate targets during their climate talks in Bali yesterday.
Some are even walking back on key elements of the Paris Climate Agreement. China, specifically, seems to be trying to walk back on the 1.5 C commitment.
It’s not a G20 without non-climate related political disputes: Delegates from Italy reportedly insisted that the Russia-Ukraine war (specifically Russia) be classified as a climate hazard. Reuters and the AP have the story
THE COUNTDOWN TO COP-
So far, about 35k people registered to attend COP27 in November, NGO EC4SDF told Egyptian state-owned newspaper Ahram Online. This puts COP27 “on track to possibly become one of the most attended UN climate conferences, breaking the previous record of 42k participants at COP21 in France in 2015,” the NGO’s head of board of trustees told Ahram Online. EC4SDF was appointed an observer NGO for COP27 earlier in August. You can also register to attend here.
Brazilian presidential candidate wants saving tropical rainforests to be a COP27 priority — and for wealthy countries to foot more of the bill: Former Brazilian President — and current presidential hopeful — Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva aims to form an alliance to help developing countries secure funding and support to preserve their tropical rainforests in the run-up to COP27, Reuters reports. The idea is for Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to collectively put pressure on rich countries to help fund the cost of keeping the forests standing, a top aide told the news outlet. “The proposal is to set up a strategic alliance to address the issue of funding at the COP in Egypt,” he said. Lula’s policy team is said to be particularly focused on building a global carbon market and financing rainforest conservation, the aide added.
THE DANGER ZONE-
Here’s one of many reasons Lula is making the Amazon a top priority: The Amazon rainforest has just suffered its worst spate of wildfires in 12 years, according to government figures picked up by Reuters. Satellites picked up some 1.5k fire alerts from 1-30 August, according to the country’s space research agency, making it the worst August since 2010.
You probably haven’t heard about it though: The fires last month were even worse than the blazes in August 2019 which received wall-to-wall coverage from the global media. This time around, though, the disaster has attracted only a fraction of the attention, despite the higher number of fires.
Cleanup companies need to clean up their act in Nigeria’s Ogoniland, says UN: The USD 1 bn Ogoniland oil cleanup in Nigeria — hailed by the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 2017 as “likely to be the world’s most wide-ranging and long-term oil clean up exercise ever undertaken” — is actually making chemical contamination worse in one the world’s most polluted areas, investigative reporting by Bloomberg reveals. Cleanup efforts which began in 2019 have suffered from “rampant mismanagement, incompetence, waste and lack of transparency,” Bloomberg claims, citing UNEP documents it has obtained.
SIGN OF THE TIMES- The water of the Arabian Gulf is so hot, it threw Iran’s nuclear power production a curveball: Water temperature of the Persian Gulf rose to 34-35°C, causing Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant to halt for a few weeks this summer, Atomic Energy Organization chief Mohammad Eslami told Iranian Iranian Students’ News Agency. The water is used to cool nuclear reactors down and usually does not exceed 25°C. Bloomberg also has the story here.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
Egypt’s Ain Shams University will host the Regional Action on Climate Change (RACC) conference from 3-5 September at its campus in Cairo. The conference will focus on the impact of climate change on the agro-environmental field, with speakers including local ministers, UN and IMF representatives.
The Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES) will be hosting a Carbon Market Webinar on 6 September via Zoom. Discussions will revolve around how Egypt and African countries can create an integrated, profitable carbon market. You can register for the event here.
The 2022 Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference will take place in Riyadh on 7 September. Besides discussing Saudi Arabia’s economy in the context of the global macro-outlook, it will also host a workshop on ESG and climate change.
A MENA youth climate innovation lab and Academy is set to run starting Friday, 16 September. Backed by Seedstars, the United Nations Climate Technology Centre and Network, and Denmark’s foreign ministry, the three-day event will spotlight climate tech developed by young folks from the MENA region. The deadline for applications is on 4 September; you can apply here.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.