TODAY: Welcome to Enterprise Climate, the essential daily covering climate change in the Middle East and Africa | business, finance, investment
Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to the first issue of Enterprise Climate, the essential regional publication for senior execs who care about what is fast becoming the world’s most important industry.
Climate is one of those rare industries that cuts across every other sector of the economy, from banking and finance to infrastructure, real estate, transport, construction, FMCG, urban planning, professional services and beyond.
Longtime readers will know we’ve been talking about climate in Egypt and MENA since we first started publishing back in 2014. With Enterprise Climate, we’re taking it to the next level, serving up in-depth news and analysis for a regional audience.
Enterprise Climate covers everything from finance and tech to regulation, products and policy across the Middle East and North Africa. In a nod to the growing geographical ambitions of companies in our corner of the world, we also include an overview of the big trends and data points in nearby countries, including Africa and southern Europe. From energy to banking, water, waste management, sustainable building practices, and more, the scope of Enterprise Climate is massive.
And because we’re taking an insider’s look at everything climate, you can count on us not just for key news and trends, but for the inside scoop on products and services that are hitting the region — and interviews with industry leaders of all types.
We’re very grateful to our friends at HSBC and Infinity Power for their support as our launch partners. In the world of banking and finance, HSBC is a MENA leader in the transition to net zero and the push for a full embrace of wider environmental social and governance (ESG) issues. The good people at Infinity Power, a joint venture between Infinity and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), are world leaders in the renewables space with projects in operation or under development across the Middle East and Africa.
Enterprise Climate is published at 6am UAE / 5am KSA / 4am CLT Monday through Thursday by the same people who bring you Enterprise Egypt, your essential 6am and 3pm CLT read on business, finance, policy and economy in Egypt and emerging markets.
IN TODAY’S ISSUE- Remember those green hydrogen MoUs that Egypt signed last week? Well, they’re worth over USD 31.75 bn. We have chapter and verse in this morning’s news well, below.
We also have an exclusive chat with the UAE’s Climate Change and Environment Minister, Mariam Almheiri, who discusses the UAE’s climate investments, its preparations for COP28 and her hopes for COP27. Don’t miss our first Newsmakers interview in this morning’s news well, below.
SIGN OF THE TIMES #1- Is there a better time to launch a daily on all things climate than during world water week? Organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, interested stakeholders can attend a number of workshops and sessions discussing new ways of managing water and how to tackle food security, agriculture, technology, biodiversity and climate pain points. Check out their full program here.
HAPPENING TODAY- The Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) will start setting up meetings with investors starting today for the issuance of USD-denominated debut green bonds, Zawya reports.
The inside story: ADCB is looking to sell five-year senior unsecured green bonds of “benchmark size,” subject to market conditions. Proceeds will go towards financing or refinancing green loans eligible under ADBC's green bond framework, which the lender released earlier this month. The bank’s most recent earnings release stated that it aims to provide AED 35 bn in green financing by 2030.
Advisors- Barclays and ING were hired as joint sustainability structuring advisors, while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, BofA Securities, JPMorgan, Mizuho and SMBC Nikko are joint lead managers and bookrunners on the issuance.
THE BIG CLIMATE STORY OUTSIDE THE REGION- There are a few: The US state of California will ban the sale of petrol-powered cars in 2035, CNBC reports. California is the country’s most populous state and a center of US car culture. The California Air Resources Board issued the rule last week in a bid to push car manufacturers to speed up production of cleaner vehicles.
MEANWHILE- French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne announced a USD 1.5 bn fund to speed up the country’s transition to clean energy, according to Bloomberg, quoting an interview with French newspaper, Le Parisien over the weekend.
SIGN OF THE TIMES #2- ECB’s Lagarde is ringing the climate alarm bell: European Central Bank (ECB) chief Christine Lagarde warned of the impact of climate change on prices, ins. and the financial sector in an interview with Madam Figaro (Reuters has the nuts and bolts in English). The ECB needs to take that into account when making decisions, she added.
WORTH READING- Does ESG affect M&A and corporate strategy? Apparently. Some 56% of surveyed professionals think it affects corporate strategy and 42% believe it plays an important role in M&A, according to a study by Coleman Research. The study on the impact of ESG on corporate strategies and M&A activity is based on a survey of 500 experts across the US, EMEA, and APAC. You can get the full report here.
THE COUNTDOWN TO COP27-
Egypt wants to see real investment, not just pledges: The summit will aim to attract concrete investments — and not just pledges — in fields including renewable energy, green hydrogen projects, agriculture, and food and water security, Egypt climate envoy Mahmoud Mohieldin said in an interview on Egyptian talk show Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 37:26 in Arabic).
Go big or go home: The EU will push hard against the world’s biggest economies, according to an EU draft document obtained by Reuters. The report, prepared by the European Environmental Agency (EEA), calls on all 200 countries participating in COP27 to improve their climate change targets. “Global climate action remains insufficient,” the note says. The draft, which faces weeks of negotiations and amendments before approval in October, is expected to push countries to set more ambitious pollution targets to stop global warming spiraling beyond 1.5°C.
Coming to COP27? You may meet Prince Charles. The Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative announced it will host a two-day “Terra Carta Action Forum” in Sharm El Sheikh to take place during COP27, according to a statement. The jaw-fest will focus on how to deliver on “the promises made in Glasgow” at COP26 with the aim of unlocking USD tns of private sector investment for climate action, the Prince of Wales said.
Nigeria is “engaging with partners to secure an initial USD 10 bn support package ahead of COP27,” the country’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, said during a virtual event last week. The package would be similar to South Africa’s “just energy transition” partnership announced at COP26. Tackling climate change must go hand-in-hand with improving access to energy, he added. Nigeria needs to spend some USD 10 bn annually “above business as usual spending” to roll out a planned energy transition that would see it hit net-zero by 2060, said Osinbajo.
THE DANGER ZONE-
Some 33 mn (yes, mn) people have been displaced by flooding in Pakistan. The death toll from monsoon floods in Pakistan has crossed 1k, as several countries, including France, the UAE and Iran continue to pledge emergency aid to mitigate the worsening crisis. At least 33 mn people have also been displaced from their homes since June when monsoon season started. Pakistan Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman called this year’s deadly monsoon season a “serious climate catastrophe,” declaring a national emergency for what has been the heaviest rainfall Pakistan has experienced since the 1960s. (Reuters | AP | NPR | BBC)
Germany and Morocco to discuss ties, renewables: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock discussed climate, renewable energy and green hydrogen projects with Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita during a two-day visit late last week, according to the German ministry’s website. The two said they would intensify their long-standing cooperation in sustainable development, sustainable agriculture and forestry, biodiversity, climate, renewable energy, water and food security.
Renewables and food security were on the agenda for a sit-down between UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, according to Zawya. The president also invited Mitsotakis to attend COP28, set to take place in the UAE next year.
Egypt and Denmark are in talks to promote sustainability: The president of the Suez Canal Authority met with Denmark’s minister of climate, energy and utilities and the country’s ambassador to Egypt to discuss partnerships in the green economy, accelerate the utilization of clean energy sources in maritime transportation, and enhance the environmental sustainability of the Suez Canal, according to a statement.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR- Edge Innovation Forum is holding its Sustainability In Depth seminar on 30 August at Galleria40 in Cairo, Egypt. The seminar will focus on the role of government decisions in encouraging sustainable development and green financing.
The World Conference on Climate Change & Sustainability is taking place on 1-3 September in Frankfurt, Germany. The aim of the conference is 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,” the event’s organizers note. You can also attend the event online by registering here.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.