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.


US energy secretary meets Saudi counterpart after OPEC cuts

Updated 10 December 2018
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US energy secretary meets Saudi counterpart after OPEC cuts

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister held talks Monday with US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, after the Kingdom and its allies defied US pressure to cut oil production in a bid to prop up prices.
They discussed the “state of the oil market” and energy cooperation between the two countries during a meeting in eastern Dhahran city, the minister, Khalid Al-Falih, said on Twitter.
Perry tweeted that he discussed the need for “open, free, and fair markets with the Saudis.”
OPEC members and 10 other oil producing nations, including Russia, on Friday agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels a day from January in a bid to reverse recent falls in prices.
The decision came even as US President Donald Trump demanded that the cartel boost output in order to push prices down.
But Al-Falih shrugged off the pressure last week, saying “we don’t need permission from anyone to cut” production.
The US “is not in a position to tell us what to do,” he told reporters ahead of Friday’s OPEC meeting in Vienna.
Last week, for the first time in decades, the United States — which is not a member of OPEC — was a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products.
It was the latest sign of how the shale boom has lifted the US standing on global petroleum markets, prompting talk of “energy dominance” by Trump.
Perry’s visit to Dhahran came as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled state oil giant Aramco’s plan for a new energy megaproject in the area known as the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK).
The energy park is expected to attract an initial investment of $1.6 billion, Aramco said.