Fiji to sell world’s first climate-change “green” bonds

The Pacific Island nation is seen as particularly vulnerable to climate change, with some of its 300 low-lying islands susceptible to rising seas. (Reuters)
Updated 18 October 2017
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Fiji to sell world’s first climate-change “green” bonds

SYDNEY: Fiji will issue a $50 million (SR87.5 million) “green” bond in coming weeks to help combat the effects of global climate change, the first developing country to do so, its prime minister said on Wednesday.
The Pacific Island nation is seen as particularly vulnerable to climate change, with some of its 300 low-lying islands susceptible to rising seas.
The bond will be the first to earmark the cash raised to address the issue, according to the World Bank.
The country will also use some of the proceeds to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said in a speech.
“Changing weather patterns and severe weather events are threatening our development, our security and the Fijian way of life,” he said in a joint statement with the World Bank.
“By issuing the first emerging country green bond, we are also sending a clear signal to other nations that we can be creative and innovative in mobilizing funds.”
Such bonds are used to raise funds for environmental projects, though the sector has drawn criticism for only vaguely defining what constitutes a “green” investment.
Poland and France have also issued sovereign green bonds to raise funds for renewable power, subsidize energy-efficient buildings, tree planting and other environmental projects.
The bonds, which will be available in five- and 13-year maturities, will be priced on November 1. They will pay coupons of 4 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, according to a summary released by Fiji and the World Bank.
The issue comes three weeks ahead of a UN climate change conference in Bonn, Germany, which will be chaired by Fiji.
The global “green” bond market is expected to reach $134.9 billion in 2017, according to the World Bank.


OPEC oil ministers gather to discuss production increase

Updated 19 June 2018
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OPEC oil ministers gather to discuss production increase

  • Analysts expect the group to discuss an increase in production of about 1 million barrels a day
  • The officials were arriving in Vienna ahead of the official meeting Friday

VIENNA: The oil ministers of the OPEC cartel were gathering Tuesday to discuss this week whether to increase production of crude and help limit a rise in global energy prices.
The officials were arriving in Vienna ahead of the official meeting Friday, when they will also confer with Russia, a non-OPEC country that since late 2016 has cooperated with the cartel to limit production.
Analysts expect the group to discuss an increase in production of about 1 million barrels a day, ending the output cut agreed on in 2016.
The cut has since then pushed up the price of crude oil by about 50 percent. The US benchmark in May hit its highest level in three and half years, at $72.35 a barrel.
Upon arriving, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates, Suhail Al Mazrouei, said: “It’s going to be hopefully a good meeting. We look forward to having this gathering with OPEC and non-OPEC.”
The 14 countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries make more money with higher prices, but are mindful of the fact that more expensive crude can encourage a shift to renewable resources and hurt demand.
“Consumers as well as businesses will be hoping that this week’s OPEC meeting succeeds in keeping a lid on prices, and in so doing calling a halt to a period which has seen a steady rise in fuel costs,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK
The rise in the cost of oil has been a key factor in driving up consumer price inflation in major economies like the US and Europe in recent months.
Already US President Donald Trump has called on OPEC to cut production, tweeting in April and again this month that “OPEC is at it again” by allowing oil prices to rise.
Within OPEC, an increase in output will not affect all countries equally. While Saudi Arabia, the cartel’s biggest producer, is seen to be open to a rise in production, other countries cannot afford to do so. Those include Iran and Venezuela, whose industries are stymied either by international sanctions or domestic turmoil. Iran is a fierce regional rival to Saudi Arabia, meaning the OPEC deal could also influence the geopolitics in the Middle East.