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Economy

Green bond: NSE, LuxSE sign MoU to promote cross listing

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote cross listing and trading of green bonds in Nigeria and Luxembourg.

The NSE said the MoU was signed at the annual meeting of the World Federation of Exchanges in Singapore on Wednesday.

The MoU further established an agreement for the two exchanges to collaborate with a view to sharing best practises and organising joint initiatives in their respective markets, the NSE noted in a statement in Lagos.

Mr Oscar Onyema, NSE’s Chief Executive Officer, was quoted as saying that the partnership reinforced its drive to foster the growth of sustainable finance in Nigeria.

“With the MoU, issuers will enjoy the benefit of increased visibility through the cross listing of their securities in Nigeria and Luxembourg.

“The partnership will further facilitate the growth of the Green Finance industry in Nigeria and ultimately deepen the Nigerian capital market through the mobilisation of the foreign green capital needed to fund sustainable projects in Nigeria,” Onyema said.

Mr Robert Scharfe, Chief Executive Officer, LuxSE also said sustainable finance was becoming a truly global movement.

“By joining forces with other exchanges to promote and facilitate green finance, we strive to accelerate the sustainable finance agenda and increase awareness of and interest in investment projects that support the sustainable development.

“We are pleased to cooperate with the Nigerian Stock Exchange to further strengthen sustainable finance in and between our markets,” Scharfe said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Nigerian Green bond market received international recognition following the issuance and listing of the ₦10.69bn Federal Government sovereign green bond in December 2017.

This issuance sparked significant interest from the international and local capital market communities as it opened new investment opportunities, especially for domestic investors.

It also increased their exposure to financial instruments that generate social and environmental impact. (NAN)

JNC/SA

Edited by Salif Atojoko

Foreign

China’s environment improves amid push for green growth

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China‘s ecological environment improved in 2019 amid anti-pollution efforts and push for green development, an official report showed Tuesday.

Air quality in the country continued to improve, with 337 cities at and above the prefecture-level recording good air quality on an average of 82 percent days last year, according to the report issued by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

Surface water quality mostly kept improving. Some 74.9 percent of surface water monitored by the ministry was graded Class I to III (good quality) last year, up 3.9 percentage points from 2018, while that of Class V fell to 3.4 percent from 6.7 percent in 2018.

Surface water quality is divided into five classes in the country, with Class I being the best.

Carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP fell 4.1 percent in 2019 from the previous year, meeting the country’s annual target, according to the report.

Considering lucid waters and lush mountains as invaluable assets, China has made great strides in tackling pollution and shifting to an environmental-friendly development path.

(XINHUA)

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Sport

Competitive sports in England get green light for Monday restart

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After a near three-month shutdown, all competitive sports in England can resume from Monday behind closed doors provided strict conditions are met, the government said on Saturday.

The first major live event is expected to be the 2000 Guineas Stakes horse race at Newmarket on June 6.

Prior to that the Jockey Club Racecourses plans to hold its first behind-closed-doors fixture at Kempton Park on Tuesday of this week.

No competitive elite-level sport has taken place in Britain since March when the country went into lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic has now killed more than 38,000 people in the UK.

A document published on Saturday by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS), outlined a lengthy list of criteria.

These requirements must be met to allow elite athletes and professional sportsmen to resume.

“The wait is over. Live British sports will shortly be back on in safe and carefully-controlled environments,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said in a statement.

“This guidance provides the safe framework for sports to resume competitions behind closed doors. It is now up to individual sports to confirm they can meet these protocols and decide when it’s right for them to restart.”

Dowden confirmed that preparations were being finalised for the Premier League and English Football League to return to action in June.

Premier League shareholders this week agreed a return to contact training with a provisional restart date of June 17, provided all safety requirements are in place.

The Premier League welcomes the government’s announcement today,” a statement from the Premier League said.

“We have provisionally planned to restart the Premier League on June 17, but there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety of all involved.”

A “significant proportion” of the remaining 92 Premier League matches will be broadcast on free-to-air platforms.

While the Premier League is on track to resume in just over two weeks’ time, others are in different positions.

Domestic cricket is suspended until Aug. 1, while the Wimbledon tennis championships has been cancelled for the first time since World War II.

Premiership rugby hopes to have clubs back in training from June 8.

The government’s latest plan for the resumption of elite level sports follows its `stage two’ guidance published on May 25.

It allowed elite athletes to resume group training under carefully-controlled conditions.

“This is a significant moment for British sports. By working with clinicians every step of the way, we are creating the safest possible environments for everyone involved,” Dowden said of the step-by-step guidelines.

Measures include players travelling alone to venues, being screened for coronavirus symptoms before entering, and maintaining social distancing where possible.

Dressing room usage must be minimised, only essential physiotherapy allowed, and recovery sessions held outside.

High-contact areas of venues will require regular disinfecting, while catering must be limited.

It will now be the responsibility of individual leagues and competitions to decide when they can resume.
OLAL

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Economy

China excludes clean coal projects from list eligible for green bonds

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China has excluded “clean coal” from a list of projects eligible for green bonds, according to long-awaited new draft guidelines published by the central bank on Friday.

The new catalogue of eligible projects replaces the previous one published in 2015, and will be open to public consultation until June 12, the People’s Bank of China said in a notice.

The previous catalogue controversially allowed green financing to be raised for the “clean use of coal”, including coal washing plants that remove impurities, and technologies that reduce pollution during the combustion process.

The inclusion of “clean coal” in the 2015 list had put China at odds with global standards, a point of contention for some international investors and many environmental groups.

Chinese financial institutions provided billions of yuan in green financing to coal-related projects last year and have also supported other fossil fuel projects, including the expansion of an oil refiner.

The new guidelines also include projects that help replace coal with cleaner forms of energy for winter heating.

Green finance will also be available for steel mills to pay for mandatory upgrades to their emissions control technology.

The central bank has also added shared bicycle and scooter services to the list of eligible projects.

It will also allow green financing to be used to support China’s carbon and green power certificate trading sectors.

Beijing has been promoting new green financing methods to help industry pay for its transition to cleaner modes of growth.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

Green growth seen as a way out of coronavirus crisis in Denmark

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Green growth is the sustainable way out of the novel coronavirus crisis, according to speakers at an international webinar of State of Green, Denmark’s public-private partnership that promotes clean-tech solutions concerning climate change, on Wednesday.

“We need to secure a global economic recovery that is both green and equitable. Although times are challenging right now, I remain optimistic that we can do this,” said opening speaker, the Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.

The Crown Prince also envisaged Denmark making a major contribution to a global green transition.

Meanwhile, Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Joergensen agreed with the Crown Prince, emphasizing that despite the country’s modest size, Denmark is a potential “green superpower” which has a central role to play in the international arena.

“Denmark only accounts for around 0.1 percent of global emissions. Still, we aspire to be world leaders in the green transition, showing the way for bigger economies,” said Joergensen.

Additional speakers — Mads Nipper, CEO at Grundfos and Lars Sandahl Soerensen, CEO at the Confederation of Danish Industry — stressed the importance of working across sectors to enable the necessary innovative solutions.

“Public-private partnerships are essential in the quest to accelerate the global green transition,” Soerensen noted.

The Danish government and the private sectors established the “Climate Partnerships” in November 2019, aiming to develop an extensive set of recommendations to bring down Danish carbon emissions dramatically during this decade, while maintaining commercial competitiveness.

(XINHUA)

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Sport

La Liga gets Spanish govt’s green light to resume from June 8

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Spanish football’s top flight division La Liga can return to action from June 8 after being disrupted by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday.

All organised football in Spain was provisionally suspended on March 12, although clubs in the top two divisions have since returned to group training.

La Liga has yet to officially confirm a resumption date, although its president Javier Tebas had said previously he hoped the season could do so from June 12.

“We are very happy with the decision, but it is the result of the great work of clubs, players, coaches… CSD (National Sports Council) and agents involved,” Tebas said on Twitter.

“But it is very important to follow the health rules and that the evolution of the pandemic respects us. We cannot let our guards down.”

Germany’s Bundesliga became the first major European football league to resume on May 16, with matches played without fans.

Players in the English Premier League have returned to small group training with their clubs ahead of a possible resumption in June, although nothing has so far been agreed.

The Italian government will decide on May 28 if and when the Serie A season can resume.

The French season was called off by the government, and Paris St-Germain (PSG) were crowned champions.

La Liga was suspended with 11 rounds of fixtures still to be completed.

FC Barcelona lead the table, two points above Real Madrid, with Sevilla 11 points back in third-place.

In his address on Saturday, Sanchez said that “new horizons” could now open after Spain “has done what it needed to do.”

Spanish football has a huge following, but it will not be the only recreation activity that will return,” he said.

Spain is one of the countries worst-affected by the coronavirus outbreak, with more than 28,000 deaths and more than 234,000 cases of infection diagnosed.

The daily death toll has been steadily declining, with 56 deaths registered on Friday.

Spain has also begun to relax one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns.

Already, the provinces of Madrid and Barcelona are set to allow gatherings of up to 10 people from Monday as they move into the first phase of a de-escalation.
OLAL

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Foreign

Some 50,000 commuters expected to ride on new stretch of Bangkok’s Green Line rail system daily

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Some 50,000 commuters are expected to ride on a new stretch of Bangkok’s Green Line rail system daily, said an executive official on Thursday.

According to Sumit Srisantithum, chief operating officer of Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc., which operates BTS skytrains, some 50,000 rail commuters will daily use the Green Line extension between Kasetsart University station and Wat Phra Sri Mahathat station in Bang Khen district of the capital.

The latest extension of the BTS skytrains’ northern route is scheduled to open on June 3.

However, the number of daily commuters on the Green Line stretch might probably rise from about 50,000 to about 150,000 after the COVID-19 pandemic situation ends, Sumit said.

The number of passengers on a BTS skytrain is currently reduced to about one-fourth of its normal capacity under social distancing rules.

The Green Line, also known as Sukhumvit Line, is designed to go further north and end at Khu Khot station, which is scheduled to open in December.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

EU outlines ‘Green Deal’ agriculture, biodiversity plans

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The European Commission presented its plans for more environmentally friendly agricultural production and greater biodiversity, on Wednesday, as part of its flagship “European Green Deal” policy.

The EU’s executive set out with an ambitious environmental strategy when commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, took office last year.

That has taken a back seat, however, during the coronavirus pandemic.

The aim of the so-called “farm to fork” strategy is to reduce the use of pesticides and antibiotics and improve fertilisers.

Animal welfare is also to be improved and the fishing industry is being made more sustainable.

At the same time, it calls for a reduction in food and packaging waste, while proposing the introduction of mandatory food labels on the front of packaging to cut back on high fat, sugar and salt contents and encourage consumers to make sustainable choices.

The strategy aims “to reconcile our food systems with our planet’s health, to ensure food security and meet the aspirations of Europeans for healthy, equitable and eco-friendly food,’’ said EU Food Safety Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides.

The commission also presented a parallel strategy to promote biodiversity, at the core of which is a proposed expansion of protected areas.

Under the proposal, 30 per cent of European land and sea areas are to be placed under protection while 10 per cent would be left virtually untouched under particularly strict conditions.

EU capitals and lawmakers are invited to endorse the commission’s approach, which will then be fleshed out with concrete legislative proposals.

However, it has already encountered resistance from the centre-right European People’s Party, the largest in the EU legislature.

“We regret that the European Commission is hurrying its ‘farm to fork’ strategy now when farmers all over Europe are facing huge insecurity over their future,’’ said EU lawmaker, Herbert Dorfmann, the group’s agriculture spokesman.

But the Greens welcomed the approach, with the spokesman, Martin Haeusling, calling on the commission to “promptly” incorporate its ideas into a broader reform of EU farm policy.

The “European Green Deal’’ aims to overhaul the EU’s economy and channel investments into projects that will see the bloc’s carbon emissions fall to net zero by 2050.

The commission stresses that it should form a cornerstone of coronavirus recovery measures.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Economy

Global green energy growth to fall for first time in 20 years – IEA

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Global growth in new renewable energy capacity will experience its first annual decline in 20 years, this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But, it is expected to pick up next year, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.

The world is set to build fewer wind turbines, solar plants and other installations that produce renewable electricity this year as energy demand has been reduced across commercial and industrial sectors and logistics issues delay projects.

“Countries are continuing to build new wind turbines and solar plants, but at a much slower pace,’’ IEA Executive Director, Fatih Birol, said.

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the world needed to significantly accelerate the deployment of renewables to have a chance of meeting its energy and climate goals.’’

Renewable capacity additions this year are set to total 167 gigawatts (GW), 13 per cent less than last year, according to the IEA’s Renewable Market Update report.

But overall global renewable power capacity is still expanding and will grow by six per cent in 2020.

Slower growth this year reflects delays in construction activity due to supply chain disruptions, lockdown measures and social distancing as well as financing challenges.

Next year, renewable power additions are forecast to rebound to the level reached in 2019, as delayed projects come online and assuming a continuation of supportive government policies.

Growth for 2020 and 2021 combined is expected to be 10 per cent lower than the IEA had previously forecast before the coronavirus outbreak.

Almost all mature markets are affected by downward revisions, except the U.S. where investors are rushing to finish projects before tax credits expire.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

Rocket hits Green Zone in Baghdad

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A Katyusha rocket was fired on Tuesday at the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad without causing any casualties, the Iraqi military said.

The rocket was fired from Edriesy neighborhood in eastern Baghdad and landed on an empty house inside the Green Zone, slightly damaging the wall of the house, the media office of the Joint Operations Command said in a statement.

The Green Zone is where some of the main Iraqi government offices and the U.S. embassy are located.

The attack came after a senior official held a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller, during which they discussed bilateral relations and the preparations of the two sides to hold the first round of strategic dialogue, according to a statement by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.

The strategic dialogue is aimed at cementing a balanced strategic relationship between the two countries based on the common interests and mutual respect, the ministry statement said.

The Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops across Iraq and the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad have been frequently targeted by insurgent mortar and rocket attacks.

Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support Iraqi forces in battles against the Islamic State, mainly for training and advisory purposes.

(XINHUA)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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