AS IT HAPPENED: FII Institute’s ‘Don’t Forget Our Planet’ virtual conference

The Future Investment Initiative Institute (FII-I) holds its second conference in a series of virtual events entitled “Don't Forget Our Planet!” on Thursday. (Screenshot)
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Updated 25 June 2020

AS IT HAPPENED: FII Institute’s ‘Don’t Forget Our Planet’ virtual conference

  • The event will bring together a host of decision makers, financial leaders and innovators

LONDON: The Future Investment Initiative Institute (FII-I) holds its second conference in a series of virtual events entitled “Don't Forget Our Planet!” on Thursday.

The event will bring together a host of decision makers, financial leaders and innovators who will be discussing a global green recovery plan as the world looks to recover from the damaging impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in a sustainable way.

Organizers say it will also discuss the role of technology and innovation in helping people and capital reconnect with “the one thing we must never forget about: The planet.”

Among the keynote speakers will be Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and the FII-I chariman Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

Follow Arab News' live updates below...(all times GMT)

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17:45 - Well, that concludes our coverage of the virtual conference. We hope you found the talks informative and useful! For a wrap up of the day’s events, read Frank Kane’s summary here.

17:00 - Lord Adair Turner tells his panel that achieving a net carbon economy by 2050 is absolutely possible worldwide, and that green energy investment is an absolute must...

16:40

16:15 - We move on to the next panel which tackles what governments around the world need to be doing to sustainably recover from the current crisis - Brune Poirson, French Secretary of State, attached to the Minister of Ecological and Solidary Transition, talks about the need for a "Green Marshall Plan" (similar to that seen in Europe at the end of the Second World War), Lord Adair Turner from the UK says huge investment in green energy is needed, which will lead to more jobs, and safer jobs at that.

In the US Jay Collins, vice chairman of Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory at Citi, talks about the current failings of the private sector and how this has to change to harness the trillions of dollars that could be invested in greener energy solutions.

15:45 - Our next speaker is Saudi Arabia's energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who says that while the priority right now is trying to mitigate the human cost of COVID-19, it does not mean countries don't have to or cannot still strive to achieve their sustainability goals.

He mentions the imminent announcement of a new solar energy project in the Kingdom as an example of Saudi Arabia trying to set an example on transititioning to renewable energies. He says the Kingdom will "put their money where their mouth is" in terms to competing with renewable energy leaders on the global scale.

 

 

15:30 - Dr. Goodall citing the current COVID-19 pandemic lists cases of viruses spreading from animals to humans due to humanity’s lack of respect for the natural world. She believes it is time for a "new measure of success" given the opportunity the pandemic has given to reform how the world is run.

 

 

15:20 - Participants of the conference are asked to vote on this question...and the 'No' came out on top in a 60-40 split. The question serves as the introduction to Dr. Jane Goodall, our next speaker.

15:15 - Next up to speak is Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and the chairman of the FII Institute, who makes a "call to impact" for a global sustainable recovery plan that will positively impact both people and the planet.

 

 

15:10 - We get to see a video welcome message, introduced by Richard Attias CEO of FII Institute, which talks about the challenges facing the world as it looks to tackle the problems of damage to the environment and the COVID-19 pandemic.

It says: “The crisis has made clear the cost of neglecting our environment. Fortunately, the way out of the recession lies in reconnecting with it. Sustainable recovery is not only desirable, but it is also more efficient in creating jobs, upgrading infrastructure and delivering financial returns. Nature-based solutions, meanwhile, create new avenues for growth, innovation and markets. We need to rethink how we value and connect with the planet as individuals, as companies and as investors.”

15:00 - And we’re up and running and ready to go!

14:50 - What is the Future Investment Initiative Institute? According to the FII, it is a “new generation of global foundations that ensure the world's brightest ideas find their way to materialize, scale and create a positive sustainable impact on humanity.”

14:40 - For a comprehensive list of speakers at the event, check out Arab News’ curtain-raiser story here: FII Institute hosting conference to inspire the development of a global green recovery plan


Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

Updated 09 August 2020

Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

  • Aramco see’s “partial recovery” from pandemic impact
  • Aramco president says company remains resilient

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, reported a net income of $6.57bn for the second quarter of 2020, the period which witnessed the most volatile oil market conditions for many decades.

The result, announced to the Tadawul stock exchange in Riyadh where the shares are listed, compared with income of $24.7 bn last year.

Amin Nasser, president and chief executive, said: “Despite COVID-19 bringing the world to a standstill, Aramco kept going. We have proven our financial resilience and operational reliability, setting a record in our business operations, while at the same time taking steps to ensure the health and safety of our people.”

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Aramco’s dividend - a big attraction for the investors who bought into the world’s biggest initial public offering last year - will remain as pledged, Nasser added. Cash flow in the quarter amounted to $6.106 bn.

““Strong headwinds from reduced demand and lower oil prices are reflected in our second quarter results. Yet we delivered solid earnings because of our low production costs, unique scale, agile workforce, and unrivalled financial and operational strength. This helped us deliver on our plan to maintain a second quarter dividend of $18.75 billion to be paid in the third quarter,” he said.

Aramco said the loss was “mainly reflecting the impact of lower crude oil prices and declining refining and chemicals margins, partly offset by a decrease in production royalties resulting from lower crude oil prices and a decrease in the royalty rate from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, lower income taxes and zakat as a result of lower earnings, and higher other income related to sales for gas products.”

Sales and revenue in the period - which saw oil prices collapse on “Black Monday” in April - fell 57 per cent to $32.861 bn from the comparable period last year. 

Nasser said he was cautiously optimistic that the world economy was slowly recovering from the depths of the pandemic lockdowns.

“We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies. Meanwhile, we continue to place people’s safety first and have adapted to the new normal, implementing wide-ranging precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 wherever we operate.

“We are determined to emerge from the pandemic stronger and will continue making progress on our long-term strategic journey, through ongoing investments in our business – which has one of the lowest upstream carbon footprints in the world,” he added.

Aramco expects capital expenditure to be at the lower end of the $25bn to $30bn range it has already indicated for this year.