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Wednesday, 14 September 2022

TODAY: ALJ makes big Aussie play + Mns in MENA rely on polluting generators. ALSO- Another major danger report + asset managers want

Good morning, wonderful people. And to our readers in the UAE, happy hump day. We hope the work week has so far been kind to you all, whether you’re reading us in Dubai, Cairo, Riyadh or beyond.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY here at home: A subsidiary of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy has completed a solar farm in Australia with a production capacity of 115 MW that will power c. 40k homes.

ALSO- Don’t miss our deep dive this morning on cloud seeding in the GCC. It’s increasingly being seen as a solution to the region’s water shortages. But what are the implications of messing with the weather and water table?

The state of Egypt’s agriculture in 2022: Egypt’s agricultural output has been suffering over the past few years, in no small measure thanks to climate change. 2021 saw crops including mangoes and olives take a beating. It’s a little different this year: A longer winter and milder spring caused difficulties for growers of olives and corn — but brought unexpected upsides for wheat, cotton, and, especially mangoes, which staged a recovery.

Want to read more? Check out Going Green, our weekly dive into Egypt’s green economy, in EnterpriseAM.

WATCH THIS SPACE- Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power will test out new technology that could make desalination less energy-intensive, the company said. The renewable energy giant inked on Monday an agreement with research and tech development firm Water Global Access (WGA) to integrate hydraulic injection desalination technology (HDI). HDI utilizes one-third less energy than the most efficient reverse osmosis desalination tech currently available, according to ACWA. It currently takes at least 3 KWh to desalinate one cubic meter of water using reverse osmosis — ACWA hopes that WGA can get the figure down below 2 KWh.


Mns of people in MENA depend on privately owned diesel-powered generators for their electricity needs — forced to the highly polluting generators after conflict, economic challenges or mismanagement have decimated their infrastructure, the Associated Press reports. In Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya, systemic central power network failures have left residents reliant on generators that pump over 40 toxic contaminants into the air, says a co-founder of the American University of Beirut (AUB) environment academy. Diesel-powered generators spew out especially large quantities of climate change-inducing emissions — and more than 40 toxic by products.

In Lebanon, levels of toxic emissions may have quadrupled since the start of the financial crisis — thanks to increased reliance on generators, AP quotes AUB researchers saying.

Could a market for energy service companies (ESCOs) help Lebanon? A white paper out last week argues that it could — and that investing in an ESCO market should be a priority. But what the heck is an ESCO? We have more in this morning’s news well, below.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY outside our region- Another day, another report spelling out climate doom: A multi-agency report warning that there's a 48% chance that at least one year in the next five the annual mean temperature will temporarily be 1.5C higher than pre-industrial levels is dominating global climate headlines. The world is entering an “uncharted territory of destruction” through our collective failure to act on slashing greenhouse gas emissions, said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, commenting on the report, which was coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization. Guterres slammed wealthy countries for failing to help developing nations adapt to the climate crisis, saying they should immediately provide financial support of USD 40 bn a year, increasing to USD 300 bn a year by 2030. (Guardian | Washington Post | Reuters)

This is the second report in a week to warn that the world is teetering on the brink of disastrous tipping points. We picked up the first here.


South Africa will see if Western donors will put their money where their mouths are: South Africa’s cabinet is set to draft in the coming fortnight an investment plan for some USD 8.5 bn in pledges committed by Western nations to transition the country to renewables, South Africa’s Environment Minister Barbara Creecy told Reuters. The US, EU, Britain, France and Germany last year committed to providing USD 8.5 bn over three to five years to help the continent’s third-largest economy (after Nigeria and Egypt) start kicking coal and get more solar and wind into its energy mix. South Africa is looking for grants, but donors are largely offering loans — and the terms of the pledges are still uncertain. The ministers hope to finalize the plan before COP27.

MEANWHILE- More than 530 investors managing USD 39 tn urged governments to ramp up their climate ambition in advance of COP 27 in a collective statement (pdf) published yesterday by the Investor Agenda — a group focused on accelerating investor action for a net-zero emissions economy. The big asks from yesterday’s statement? Putting regs in place to phase-out fossil fuel use, forcing companies to produce science-based transition plans, scaling up low-carbon energy systems, implementing carbon pricing mechanisms, and increasing action on deforestation.

Guess who didn’t sign the pledge? BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street — who happen to be the three top three index fund managers in the US, Reuters reports.

YOU’RE READING ENTERPRISE CLIMATE, the essential regional publication for senior execs who care about the world’s most important industry. 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.

Enterprise Climate is published at 4am CLT / 5am Riyadh / 6am UAE Monday through Thursday by Enterprise, the folks who bring you Enterprise Egypt, your essential 6am and 3pm read on business, finance, policy and economy in Egypt and emerging markets.

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Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank’s (ADCB) will issue USD 500 mn worth of green bonds today. The sale underscored that investors not only have strong appetite for GCC debt despite current global economic headwinds — but that there is a plenty of interest in green paper. The issuance attracted more than USD 1.9 bn in orders and was 3.8x oversubscribed.

Could more GCC issuers follow suit? A day after the announcement of ADCB’s sale, Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund might be going to market with a green bond sale this week. We’re keeping an eye out.

Construction Week magazine’s Leaders in Construction UAE Summit is taking place today in Dubai. Industry leaders including China State Construction Engineering Corporation CEO Yu Tao and URB CEO Baharash Bagherian will be panelists at the summit. You can register for the event here.


The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia is hosting its Towards COP27: Arab regional forum on climate finance on 15 September in Beirut. The forum will explore the climate finance needs of Arab countries to ensure water, energy and food security, while showcasing projects that can accelerate climate action.

The European Union’s Delegation to Egypt will host Euro-Egyptian energy day on Friday, 16 September at the Fish Garden in Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt. Speakers will include EU delegation to Egypt chief Christian Berger, as well as a number of Egyptian ministers. Alongside workshops, there will be activities for kids, including how to build a solar-powered car, a windmill and a watermill using Lego bricks.

The Wetex and Dubai solar show will run 27-29 September at the Dubai World Trade Center.

Dubai will host the World Green Economy Summit on 28-29 September. The summit wants to provide a platform to build consensus around the potential of technologies, policies and youth that could drive the green economy transformation.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

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