Saudi Arabia has potential to be hub for green finance: KPMG

Michael Hayes, global head of renewables, KPMG International.
Updated 20 November 2019

Saudi Arabia has potential to be hub for green finance: KPMG

Saudi Arabia can become the center for green finance for emerging markets, which will bring huge economic and commercial benefits to the economy in line with Vision 2030, according to Michael Hayes, global head of renewables, KPMG International.
“The amount of capital required to support the energy transition is vast and it is for this reason that a whole new sector called green finance has emerged in recent years delivering new products such as green bonds and green insurance. Much of the expenditure in renewables over the next 20 years will be in emerging markets and so Saudi Arabia should concentrate on creating a center for green finance for emerging markets,” he said.
The Saudi government intends to attract between $30 billion and $50 billion in new investments into renewables by 2030, as it plans to tender around 9.5GW of solar and wind capacities by 2023. Furthermore, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) predicts that nearly $148 billion will be required each year until 2050 to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and limit global temperature increases to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels.
Given these investment projections, Hayes believes it is an absolute necessity for GCC governments to invest in renewables, which is one of the key goals of governmental visions across the GCC. 
“Climate change is now recognized as the most significant risk on the planet and is likely to dominate the political and economic landscape for many years to come. While there are many different ways to help in the fight against climate change, transitioning from conventional power usage to renewable power is still one of the best and most effective solutions available,” Hayes said.
The Middle Eastern countries are well aware of their strong dependence on fossil fuels to drive economic growth. Therefore, in an era when the long-term viability of fossil fuels is under question, it is critical that these economies diversify as soon as possible. 
“Renewable generation represents an ideal way to do this and over time, I expect to see Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries take a leading role in the growth of renewable energy across the region and even into Sub-Sahara Africa,” he said.
 


LuLu to fly 12 students from Kingdom to NASA

Updated 23 January 2020

LuLu to fly 12 students from Kingdom to NASA

LuLu, the largest hypermarket chain in the Middle East, awarded a total of 12 young students of different nationalities from Saudi Arabia, India, Philippines, and Egypt, a chance to visit the NASA center in the US.
LuLu’s back-to-school promotion called “Fly to NASA” was held in partnership with Almarai. The hypermarket hosted a competition last September in search of students who are science and space knowledge enthusiasts to experience and visit the NASA center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Shehim Mohammed, LuLu Hypermarket director of Saudi Arabia, said: “We are glad to finally announce the winners of this innovative campaign, which is a first and the most unique among our activations over the years of operating in the region. Thank you to our partner Almarai for joining hands with us in this exciting promotion. This is the first time that LuLu will lead a great opportunity to children who have the high potential to grow and learn more while having fun through science.”
Winners include: Abrez Hussain, Mohammed Ahmed, Rayyan Abdul Aziz, Naif Saad Altwaim, Osama Al-Harbi, Hugh Matthew, Khalid Abdul Aziz, Munther Mohammed Qasim Abujazar, Ahmad Gahwagy, Ahmed Khalaf, Hamza Ladha and Asif Rijo.
“Fly to NASA” winners will get to enjoy and experience a one-week trip, which will include five days of fun and learning at NASA’s Space Camp. The selection process involved two phases — first was the preliminary online registration, while the final stage featured a live quiz to obtain the top 12 winners. Students aged 9 to 18 years were encouraged to register and join the online activation.
With 185 stores operating worldwide, LuLu is the fastest growing retail chain across 10 countries, which include the GCC, India, Egypt, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Founded in the early 1990s, it has successfully expanded to different parts of the world, garnering more than 1,600,000 shopping patrons everyday.
LuLu is one of the favorite shopping destinations in Saudi Arabia, where it offers a broad selection of international products. It is one of the Middle East’s top employers with its workforce numbering to 50,000.