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Monday, 7 August 2023

TODAY: The UAE will launch the world’s first blockchain carbon credits system

Good morning, wonderful people. The news cycle continues to crawl as the region’s summer lull sets in, but there are a couple of breakthroughs making headlines.

OUR TOP STORY- The UAE’s Climate Change and Environment Ministry has signed an agreement with UAE’s the Industrial Innovation Group and US blockchain firm Venom Foundation to set up the world’s first national carbon credits system using blockchain technology. The partnership aims to help slash emissions and boost sustainability through a transparent and reliable carbon credits platform.

^^ We have more details on this story and more in the news well, below.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY OUTSIDE THE REGION- Fusion power breakthrough, take 2: Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have reported a net energy gain from a nuclear fusion reaction experiment for the second time.The second fusion ignition breakthrough generated a higher yield than the first experiment last year, which produced 3.15 megajoules of output from the initial input of 2.05 megajoules of power, a Lawrence Livermore spokesperson said, adding that the final results are still being analyzed.

SOUND SMART- Fusion reactions involve the fusing of two light atomic nuclei using lasers to release more energy from fusion than the laser energy used to produce it. The fusing process results in the formation of a single, heavier nucleus, with the leftover mass from the smaller nuclei’s fusion being converted into carbon-free power.

Huge energy potential: Nuclear fusion could generate four times more power per kg of fuel than fission reactions — which see nuclei split to release large amounts of energy in the form of heat and radiation — and nearly four mn times more energy than burning oil or coal, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) explains. The power source “could provide virtually limitless clean, safe, and affordable energy to meet the world’s demand,” according to IAEA.

The road is long and costly though: Energy companies looking to set up nuclear fusion power plants will need to invest approximately USD 7 bn to realize their targets. Scientists and researchers have cautioned that it will likely be decades before the technology is commercially viable — if ever. The total addressable market for fusion stands at some USD 1 tn annually as of 2022.

The second successful fusion power breakthrough is grabbing headlines: Reuters | Bloomberg | The Guardian | The Financial Times | Washington Post | The Independent

WATCH THIS SPACE #1- Egypt and Jordan want more renewables cooperation: Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said that cooperation between his country and Jordan in renewable energy, green hydrogen, and green ammonia would require “powerful and vast” infrastructure and a transit system between the two countries, according to an Egyptian Cabinet statement on Monday. Madbouly and his Jordanian counterpart Bisher Khasawneh also discussed boosting the power interconnection capacity between the two countries up to 2 GW over several phases, allowing the transmission of renewable power to other countries. Madbouly’s statements came during the joint Higher Committee meeting between Egypt and Jordan in Amman yesterday, where officials signed 12 MoUs to bolster bilateral ties, according to a statement by the Egyptian Cabinet.

WATCH THIS SPACE #2- Has Qatar grabbed shares in India’s Adani Green? The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has reportedly bought shares worth USD 500 mn in India’s Adani Green Energy, Indian newspaper the Economic Times reports, citing people it says have knowledge of the matter. The purchase was likely made through a block transaction that involved the sale of 3% of Adani’s green energy arm, the sources said. If confirmed, the investment by QIA would provide a lifeline for Adani after a report by Hindenburg Research alleged fraud earlier this year, battering investor confidence.

WATCH THIS SPACE #3- We could be seeing more green bonds from Masdar sooner than expected: Renewables giant Masdar is planning a secondary listing of its green bond offering on the ADX later this year, according to a statement. While no specific time frame was provided, this is sooner than previous comments made about offerings coming in 2024. It said proceeds from all bond offerings under the program will be directed towards “the greenest projects” including solar, wind, renewable power transmission and others. Strict ESG criteria will be applied to restrict the projects’ eligibility, it added.


CIRCLE 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.

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

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.

DID YOU MISS THE ENTERPRISE EXPORTS AND FDI FORUM? Tune in to the Enterprise Podcast and listen for yourself: 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 in May.

WANT TO LISTEN? Head to: Apple Podcast | Spotify | Google Podcast | Anghami | Omny.

IT’S THE FINAL EPISODE- Our final panel of the day was, naturally, the most forward looking. Our panelists discussed how the companies — be they in age-old industries or emerging ones — have adapted to changes to better position their businesses for an uncertain future. We were joined by Nadia El Tawil, investment officer at pan-African private equity firm AfricInvest, Mostafa Bedair, CEO of Giza Seeds and Herbs, and Abdallah Sallam, CEO of Madinet Masr.

THE ENTERPRISE CLIMATE FORUM SERIES KICKS OFF NEXT SUNDAY- Fresh off the heels of a successful COP27, we held our first forum at the Grand Egyptian Museum, diving deep into the fundamentals of what we think is the world’s most important industry. The conversations ranged from exploring the business opportunities for Egyptian entrepreneurs, companies and startups in climate, to demystifying green hydrogen, and how we finance our green transition.


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Sweden will host World Water Week from Sunday, 20 August to Wednesday, 24 August in Stockholm. Organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, the event will bring together policy makers, NGOs, and private sector players to discuss innovative solutions to managing water and how to tackle food security, biodiversity, and climate change.

The US will host the International Conference on Recycling and Waste Management and the International Conference on Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change from Monday, 21 August till Tuesday, 22 August in Philadelphia. The waste management conference will gather environmental engineers, and recycling, wastewater treatment, and climate researchers to discuss trends and innovations in plastics recycling, wastewater treatment, and renewable energy. The sustainability and climate change conference will bring together researchers and industry leaders to spotlight innovations in environmental science, climatology, renewable energy, and pollution control.

The Dominican Republic will host the COP27 Transitional Committee from Tuesday, 29 August to Friday, 1 September. The meeting aims to establish institutional arrangements, modalities, governance structures, and terms of reference for the landmark Loss and Damage Fund. It also wants to expand sources for climate funding under the program.

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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