TODAY: Majid Al Futtaim is lining up a benchmark green sukuk issuance + Egypt, Energy China ink framework agreement for USD 7 bn green hydrogen plant
Good morning, nice people, and welcome to another brisk issue for you this morning.
THE BIG CLIMATE STORY- UAE retail conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim has selected banks to coordinate and manage its upcoming benchmark 10-year USD green sukuk issuance and Egypt’s Suez Canal Economic Zone is on its way to finalizing a framework agreement with state-owned energy conglomerate China Energy for the development of a USD 7 bn green hydrogen plant in the SCZone.
^^ We have the details on these stories and more in the news well, below.
THE BIG CLIMATE STORY OUTSIDE THE REGION- Geneva Airport flights briefly grounded due to climate protests over private jets: Some 100 climate activists from environmental movement groups stormed the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition private jet fair at Geneva Airport on its opening day yesterday. The protests led Switzerland’s second largest airport to temporarily close itself off to flights as protesters scaled and ripped down wire fences and glued themselves to landing gear to demand a ban on business jet air travel. Some 80 climate activists, who during their protest stuck on airplanes warning labels like “private jets burn our future,” and “private jets drown our hope,” were detained by police forces. Geneva Airport — which saw some 14 mn passengers travel through it in 2022 — delayed seven flights on the back of the demonstration, and was forced to divert others.
The story made the rounds in the international press yesterday: Bloomberg | Reuters Associated Press | France 24.
WATCH THIS SPACE #1- COP28’s Al Jaber is facing pressure from the west: Over 130 members of the EU Parliament and US Congress have submitted an open letter (pdf) addressed to US President Joe Biden, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and the UN’s Climate Chief Simon Stiell calling for the removal of current COP28 President-Designate Sultan Al Jaber from his post due to concerns about his ties to the fossil fuel industry, Bloomberg writes. The letter also calls for measures to limit fossil fuel industry influence at the conference, asking for “immediate steps to limit the influence of polluting industries, particularly major fossil fuel industry players whose business strategies lie at clear odds with the central goals of the Paris Agreement, at gatherings of the UNFCCC.” The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company — which Al Jaber serves as company CEO — has a target to expand its oil and gas operations to some 7.5 bn barrels in coming years.
WATCH THIS SPACE #2- Boeing chief says the transition to SAF will not be as cost-effective as jet fuel: Government incentives aimed at making the transition to sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) affordable — including the US Inflation Reduction Act’s tax breaks for SAF adoption as well as EU, and UK policies — will not be enough to achieve price parity with conventional jet fuels, Boeing CEO David Calhoun told the Financial Times. SAF currently makes up less than one percent of the global aviation market’s energy supplies and is twice as expensive as the fossil fuels that power the industry, the news outlet notes. The International Air Transport Association maintains that SAF will account for 65% of the carbon offsets that will power its target to become carbon neutral by 2050, former IATA CEO Willie Walsh told FT.
REMEMBER- We’ve seen some movement in the regional SAF sector recently: Masdar, Emirates airlines, Adnoc, and Tadweer partnered up to launch a joint feasibility study with BP on the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) using solid waste and renewables-sourced hydrogen under an agreement signed back in January. Based on the results of the study, the companies could potentially set up the region’s first commercial-scale SAF production facility in Abu Dhabi. Masdar also signed an agreement with French aircraft manufacturer Airbus to jointly develop sustainable aviation fuels using direct air capture tech earlier this month.
DATA POINT- Up to USD 1.7 tn needed to turn aviation sector green: Overhauling the aviation sector to run on alternative propulsion technologies — such as hydrogen, battery-electric, and hybrid-electric — will require a capital investment between USD 0.7 tn and USD 1.7 tn across the value chain by 2050, according to a white paper (pdf) by the World Economic Forum written in collaboration with McKinsey & Company. The paper concluded that global demand for alternative propulsion could require 600 to 1.7k TWh of clean energy by 2050, equivalent to the energy generated by around 10 to 25 of the world’s largest wind farms.
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CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
Germany will host the second meeting of the COP27 Transitional Committee from tomorrow to Saturday, 27 May in Bonn. The meeting will build on the loss and damage fund established during COP27 with the aim of establishing institutional mechanisms and governance structures for financing, and will bring together a host of international financial institutions to discuss pathways to increasing funding capacity for climate vulnerable countries.
The UAE will host the Electric Vehicle Innovation Summit from Monday, 29 May to Wednesday, 31 May in Abu Dhabi. The conference will bring together state representatives, industry players from the EV sector, as well as engineers and researchers to discuss policy trends and tech innovations in the industry and provide attendees with networking opportunities across value chains.
Qatar will host the Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) Forum from Monday, 29 May to Thursday, 31 May in Lusail City. The event aims to spotlight MENA’s CCUS regulations and policies, map out paths and business models that would bring down CCUS project costs, promote regional and international cooperation to advance the international carbon capture sector, and discuss the role CCUS will play in helping Gulf countries meet their net zero targets.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events and news triggers.