Good morning, wonderful people. It’s another relatively busy day for our neck of the woods as COP27 grows inexorably nearer.
THE BIG CLIMATE STORY- The UAE is already gearing up for COP28 — which it is set to host next year — with the signing of a USD 100 bn partnership agreement with the US to ramp up green financing in the two countries and roll out clean energy projects in underfunded emerging economies.
It’s also a big news day for Egypt, with news on what could be come among the world’s largest wind farms, fresh investment in green ammonia, and the latest in the country’s
THE COUNTDOWN TO COP (4 days to go)-
Egypt is championing climate financing for Africa and emerging economies at COP27 — with an emphasis on loss and damage, Egypt’s COP27 lead negotiator Mohamed Nasr said during a webinar organized by Al Ahram. The continent is particularly vulnerable to climate change, but has been passed over by climate investment over the past decade, attracting only 2% of global investment in renewable energy despite its massive solar potential, Nasr said. African governments are spending up to 5% of their GDPs on adaptation, Nasr said, citing data from the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union. The remedy? Egypt is spearhead talks about loss and damage and what, exactly, constitutes adequate climate financing for African nations.
Climate financing has emerged as one of the key issues of COP27: The developing world’s frustration with rich-country climate policies that have so far failed to provide financial compensation for climate-change-driven loss and damage is expected to prompt a showdown over climate finance, with the issue of economic compensation having gained fresh urgency after this year’s catastrophic floods in Pakistan (which displaced >30 mn people).
Who’s talking about it? A chorus of prominent voices, including UN Climate Champion Mahmoud Mohieldin and the IFC’s VP of cross-cutting solutions Emmanuel Nyirinkindi, both of whom spoke with us at length about the issue. They’re determined to keep the conference focused on securing sustainable, long-term financing for emerging economies struggling with the effects of climate change.
GO DEEPER- Chatham House and the London School of Economics have good primer on climate loss and damage
Our friends at the UAE’s Mashreq Bank is now a sponsor of COP27, after the bank signed an MoU with Egypt’s COP Presidency, according to a statement (pdf). Mashreq will take part in panel discussions on Finance Day (9 November) and Energy Day (15 November). It will also hold separate discussions with customers and partners on the ground to provide guidance and advice for those exploring sustainable financing, the statement adds. The bank has facilitated the provision of some USD 11.7 bn in sustainable finance across the GCC, Africa, Turkey and India in the past two years, according to the statement.
What they said: Group CEO Ahmed Abdelaal noted that beyond the clear need to “protect people and planet,” Mashreq sees “the transition to a low carbon and resilient economy as a real opportunity to double our commitment to sustainable finance and invest in sectors that will drive economic growth and create the jobs of tomorrow.”
We couldn’t agree more: Whether we’re Gen Z, Millennials or Gen X, climate has emerged as the largest and most important industries of our generations.
KEY COP DATES-
- World leaders’ summit: 7-8 November (more details here)
- Finance day: 9 November
- Decarbonization day: 11 November
- Adaptation and agriculture day: 12 November
- Water day: 14 November
- Energy day: 15 November
Detailed schedule: Download as a pdf here or check out the website here. COP27 app for attendees: App Store and the Google Play Store.
STILL FEEL LIKE YOU NEED A PRIMER ON COP27? The UN has a surprisingly good rundown here.
HAPPENING TODAY- In Abu Dhabi: Day three of Adipec kicks off, gathering some 40 ministers from around the world including the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Egypt. Discussions will partly focus on the transition toward carbon neutrality. Hosted by Adnoc, Adipec bills itself as “the world's most influential gathering for energy industry professionals.” The event will wrap tomorrow. Tap or click here to register.
THE GREAT DEBATE-
Africa defends the use of fossil fuels: Africa needs to tap into its natgas reserves for development and industrialization, Reuters reported some industry leaders saying yesterday at Adipec. Renewable energy growth is poised to be substantial but insufficient to meet the continent’s needs, they argued. “There’s a sense in which it is an unjust transition for Africa,” International Energy Forum Secretary General Joseph McMonigle said.
Case in point: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) defended a July auction of oil and gas permits in parts of the Congo basin rainforest, the Guardian reported yesterday. Conservationists aim to halt the exploration, but DRC officials maintain it’s vital for the country’s economic development and slammed developed countries — including the US, UK and Norway — for urging the DRC to stop fossil fuel exploration while continuing to do it themselves.
THE BIG CLIMATE STORY OUTSIDE THE REGION-
Brazil’s da Silva puts climate action back in the center stage, reversing the Bolsonaro era: Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva made climate a key cornerstone in his re-election campaign, promising that Brazil would “resume its leading role in the fight against the climate crisis.” Da Silva has called for saving tropical rainforests to be a priority at COP27 and wants wealthy countries to increase climate financing to protect forests. His policy team is especially focused on building a global carbon market and financing rainforest conservation. Deforestation fell by more than 80% during da Silva’s previous stint as president between 2003 and 2010.
The renewed climate commitment comes after the Amazon saw its worst wildfires in 12 years this year, in what was the worst August for the rainforest in over a decade, Reuters reported previously. Brazil lost more than 12k square miles (almost 200k square km) of the Amazon under Jair Bolsonaro. In addition to cutting funding for environmental protection agencies, encouraging illegal mining, and making it easy to ignore environmental fines, Bolsonaro is a longtime supporter of logging, mining and cattle.
The story is getting wide pickup this morning in the international press: Reuters | Washington Post | New York Times
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CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
The Hawkamah Annual Conference (Building Investor Confidence Through Governance) will kick off on Tuesday, 15 November in Dubai. The conference will address governance from the perspective of investors including expectations and interaction with boards as well as the role of regulators and companies in preparing for IPOs to attract the right investors.
Saudi Arabia’s Education Ministry will host the Global Conference on Sustainable Partnerships on Wednesday, 23 November to Thursday, 24 November in Riyadh, bringing together ministers and senior officials from the private and public sectors. The conference will focus on transforming innovations and scientific research to achieve integration between universities, research, development and the innovation sector.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.