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Wednesday, 5 July 2023

TODAY: Norway’s Scatec is awarded land for its 5 GW wind farm in Egypt

Good morning, wonderful people. It’s another busy morning of climate updates from around the region as we slide on into the weekend, so let’s jump right in.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY- Egypt’s Electricity Ministry signed a land allocation agreement with Norway’s Scatec for a planned 5 GW wind farm in Sohag and the UAE’s leading financial hub Abu Dhabi Global Market has launched a sustainable finance regulatory framework under a bid to boost the country’s sustainable finance ecosystem ahead of COP28.

^^ We have the details on these stories and much more in the news well, below.

HAPPENING TODAY- The International Conference on Water and Climate is kicking off today in Fez, Morocco and wrapping up tomorrow. The conference will bring together state representatives, relevant stakeholders, and UN agencies to discuss water resource management and governance in a five-session programme.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY OUTSIDE THE REGION- The world experienced its hottest days to date this week: Tuesday, 4 July is believed to have been the world’s hottest day ever recorded, breaking record hot weather a day earlier. According to data from the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction, average global temperatures peaked to 17.18°C on Tuesday, up from 17.01°C recorded a day earlier amid record-smashing heatwaves globally. Experts say Tuesday’s record temperature came partly due to climate change, with global temperatures already above 1.25°C above pre-industrial average. “It’s warming 0.25°C a decade,” Myles Allen, a professor of geosystem science at Oxford University said. “That’s why we see records broken continuously, rather than just as one-offs.”

More to come? Experts believe temperatures are set to soar further unless necessary action is taken against greenhouse gas emissions. “When’s the hottest day likely to be? It’s going to be when global warming, El Niño and the annual cycle all line up together. Which is the next couple months,” Allen said, describing it as a “triple whammy.”

The story is grabbing headlines in the international press: Bloomberg | The Guardian | The Associated Press | The Washington Post | CNN | CNBC


MARK YOUR CALENDARS- The Enterprise Finance Forum is taking place on 18-19 September at the St. Regis Hotel in Cairo. This flagship forum is the latest in our must-attend series of invitation-only, C-suite-level gatherings that allow senior members of our community to openly and frankly discuss critical issues in key sectors of the economy.

Day one is our Banking Forum, where we’ll dive deep into topics of interest to commercial and investment bankers, from an outlook on the 12 months to come in M&A, IPO, and debt capital markets to the national, regional, and global trends that are (re)shaping our industry.

Day two is all about Fintech and Non-Banking Financial Services. We’ll take a deep dive into everything from the magic of client acquisition to the prospects of consolidation and the coming of challenger banks.

** NEW: MORE NETWORKING TIME- Our agenda includes expanded networking time, including an expanded coffee break and a post-event networking room for you to interact with your peers and speak one-on-one with the team at Enterprise.

TAP OR CLICK HERE if you want to express interest in attending. We’ll be sending out the first batch of invitations just after the 30 June holiday.

Do you want to become a commercial partner? Ping a note to Moustafa Taalab, our head of commercial, or fill out this form and we’ll be in touch.

STAY TUNED for more detail about our agenda in the weeks to come.

MISSED THE ENTERPRISE EXPORTS AND FDI FORUM? Tune in to the Enterprise Podcast to hear what went down: The Enterprise Podcast is back with another installment of our forum series, where we bring you audio recordings of what was said on stage at the Enterprise Exports and FDI Forum, which took place last May.

IN THIS WEEK’S EPISODE- We looked at how Egyptian companies can identify and pitch foreign partners and how they can identify them. We asked how do companies figure out what they’re looking for — and whether that dovetails with what they want or need. We were joined on that panel by Hossam Abou Moussa, partner at PE firm Apis, Cheick-Oumar Sylla, director for North Africa and Horn of Africa at the International Finance Corporation, and Hassan Massoud, associate director and head of private equity (Southern Mediterranean) at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Expect us to drop an episode every Sunday morning. You can listen to the Enterprise Podcast where ever you get your podcasts including: Apple Podcast | Spotify | Google Podcast | Anghami.

OVER IN COPLAND- COP28 isn’t forgetting the Global South: COP28 President-Designate Sultan Al Jaber said COP28 aims to deliver an ambitious and practical action plan that is “focused on results that address the needs of the Global South,” according to a statement. In a virtual address at the G77+ China meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation in Havana, Al Jaber said that COP28 will produce an action plan to address each of the pillars of climate action including mitigation, adaptation, climate finance, and the contentious area of loss and damage. “With 80% of the global population, the G77 provides an essential forum for the Global South to deliver a united voice on the critical issue of climate change. That voice is all the more important now in light of the impacts ─ which are being felt the most in the Global South,” he added.

Big Oil doesn’t want to be climate change’s boogeyman during COP: The world’s leading oil and gas companies should outline targets to cut carbon emissions by 2030 at COP28, Reuters reports, citing comments made by France’s TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne at an OPEC Seminar conference. “If we can bring something to COP28 as an oil and gas industry … [it] is not only IOCs [international oil companies] but also NOCs [national oil companies] should have some targets,” he said, according to a source in attendance. Pouyanne said oil companies should set targets to help lower emissions from methane and targets to curb pollution from their own operations by 2030. Such targets would help “demonstrate to the world that this industry is able to lower emissions,” he added.

ALSO- The UK may backtrack on its climate funding pledge: The UK government is drawing up plans to drop its GBP 11.6 bn climate funding pledge — its contribution to the global USD 100 bn goal in climate finance for developing countries, The Guardian reports, citing a leaked note it obtained. The note — addressed to the UK’s ministers and Foreign Office — cites “new pressures, including help for Ukraine being included in the aid budget,” as reasons for the potential cut. Given that the UK decided to cut international aid spending budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of GDP in 2020, and have failed to spend most of the money allocated to the climate fund over the past few years, it would now have to spend 83% of the total international aid spending budget to reach its GBP 11.6 bn climate funding pledge by 2026.

WATCH THIS SPACE #1- Is Masdar eyeing a big stake in a Baltic wind farm? UAE’s state-owned renewables player Masdar is reportedly in talks to acquire a stake of up to 49% in a EUR 1.4 bn Baltic Sea offshore wind farm under an exclusive agreement to develop the project with Spanish utility provider Iberdrola, Reuters reports, citing a report by Spanish newspaper Expansion. The wind farm is currently being built off Germany’s northeastern coast and will have 50 wind turbines, the newswire notes. The project is part of Iberdrola’s strategy to sell advanced renewable projects to raise capital to help finance its EUR 47 bn investment plan. Masdar were among top players vying for the stake in the 476 MW farm with Swiss fund EIP and Australian asset manager Macquarie’s green investment arm GIG.

WATCH THIS SPACE #2- The EU needs many more bns to break up with Russian fossil fuels: The EU will need to invest an additional EUR 700 bn (USD 763 bn) per year to transition to renewables and stop its reliance on Russian fossil fuels, Bloomberg reports, citing a draft of the EU Commission's upcoming Strategic Foresight report. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that an additional EUR 470 bn — above the already allocated EUR 578 bn — a year would be enough to support the green transition, but the new report reveals that this figure underestimates the escalating costs of reaching net zero goals. The Strategic Foresight report is published every year by the commission to inform its multiannual programs. This year’s report was scheduled for publication yesterday but has not yet been released publicly at the time of dispatch.

Where will the investments come from? According to the report, “the bulk of the new investment will have to come from the private sector given the limited resources of the EU’s budget,” Bloomberg writes. The report warns that “the potential of capital markets for financing the [EU’s] transitions remains underdeveloped,” and would need to catch up with the level of performance in the US.

WATCH THIS SPACE #3- A UN Climate Alliance is trying to lure new members by looser rules as members flee: Remaining insurers in the UN-convened Net-Zero Ins. Alliance (NZIA) are considering relaxing the alliance’s membership requirements amid an exodus of members, Reuters reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The NZIA is set to abolish a six-month deadline for members to issue greenhouse gas emissions targets in a bid to “steady the ship” and lure ex-members back in the fold. The move comes after NZIA lost over half of its members including AXA, Lloyd’s of London and others after 23 Republican attorney generals sought membership information and threatened legal action on the basis that NZIA’s requirements were in violation of antitrust laws among other claims.

Environmental campaigners aren’t very happy: Looser rules on target setting have been met with criticism by environmental campaigners who argue that insurers are doing little to reduce emissions. “The NZIA has had very minimal requirements and expectations of membership from the start, the target-setting is the only thing left,” coordinator of the Insure our Future campaign Peter Bosshard said. Without such requirements “the NZIA would just become another industry talking shop,” he added.

WATCH THIS SPACE #4- It’s time for the textile industry to pay up: The EU is seeking new rules obliging the textile industry to pay for the processing of its clothing waste, The Financial Times reports. The proposal presented by the European Commission yesterday is part of efforts to improve the recyclability of clothing by fast-fashion retailers and drive an emerging secondary market. “You can’t ban people from buying new things if they can afford it and they feel like it,” the EU’s Environmental Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius said. “What I need to ensure is that even if they do, at the end of life of those goods can find a better way than being . . . incinerated or dumped in Africa,” he added. Under the proposal, brands that sell in the EU would pay for the treatment of waste textiles with the sum paid depending on the necessary amount of processing.

What could be in the works: An unnamed EU official said that the companies would pay an equivalent of EUR 0.12 per T-shirt for clothing waste, yet fees would differ depending on the garment and necessary treatment, according to FT. Such fees could even be reduced if clothing was made more sustainably, according to the official.

It’s a big dump: An equivalent of 12 kg of clothes and footwear per each citizen in the EU is dumped annually, with the majority sent up in flames or dumped in landfills, according to cited commission data. Clothing and footwear consumption is set to grow by 63% to 102 mn tons in 2030, up from 62 mn tons reported in 2019, according to data by the European Environment Agency.

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Thailand will host the second workshop on addressing loss and damage from Saturday, 15 July to Sunday, 16 July in Bangkok. The workshop will see discussions on pathways to increasing funding for climate-induced loss and damage. The workshop is being held in preparation for the third meeting of the COP27 Transitional Committee in August. The committee is tasked with operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund, to be approved during the fourth transitional meeting in October.

Egypt will host the Egypt Mining Forum from Tuesday, 18 July to Wednesday, 19 July in Cairo. The event — organized by the country’s Oil Ministry — will gather regional players as well as global mining firms in a bid to attract regional and foreign direct investments in the country’s mining industry.

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

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