Brazil needs $10bn a year in aid for carbon neutrality by 2050

Brazil needs $10bn a year in aid for carbon neutrality by 2050
Deforestation in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon rainforest has skyrocketed hitting a 12-year high in 2020. (Social media)
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Updated 17 April 2021

Brazil needs $10bn a year in aid for carbon neutrality by 2050

Brazil needs $10bn a year in aid for carbon neutrality by 2050
  • Deforestation in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon rainforest has skyrocketed under Bolsonaro

BRASILIA: Brazil’s Environment Minister Ricardo Salles told Reuters on Friday that Brazil would need to receive $10 billion annually in foreign aid in order to reach economy-wide net zero carbon emissions by 2050, instead of 2060 as currently planned.

Salles has regularly called for the international community to pick up part of the check for reducing Brazil’s carbon emissions, which predominantly come from deforestation.

His call for $10 billion a year in aid comes as Brazil negotiates a separate potential deal with the US to rally foreign funds to fight soaring deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

Salles said he does not expect a deal to be announced at next week’s US Earth Day summit, but that talks with the US would continue.

“There is not and was never the objective of negotiating some kind of deal to deliver on April 22,” Salles said in an interview.

Reuters reported on Thursday that a potential deal had reached an impasse, with Brazil demanding funding up front to increase efforts to fight deforestation while the US demanded results before opening its purse strings.

“We understand their logic, but they need some understanding that Brazil already has a lot of results,” Salles said.

He cited the fact that most of Brazil’s forest is preserved, which means emissions from the carbon they contain has been avoided.

Deforestation in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon rainforest has skyrocketed under Bolsonaro, hitting a 12-year high in 2020 with an area 14 times the size of New York City being destroyed, government data show.

Salles said just $1 billion per year out of the $10 billion would enable Brazil to reach zero illegal deforestation ahead of the existing 2030 target.

About one-third of that money would go toward contracting more environmental agents, probably drawing from the ranks of the national military police, Salles said.

The other two-thirds would be used to invest in sustainable development of the Amazon region, he said.

Vice President Hamilton Mourao, who Bolsonaro has put in charge of Amazon policy, said on Friday that reaching the 2030 target would require a 15-20 percent reduction in Amazon deforestation every year until then.

Mourao said the government is studying extending a military deployment to protect the Amazon if destruction does not come down that much by July.

The expensive military deployment is set to finish at the end of this month, having failed to restore deforestation and fires to levels prior to Bolsonaro taking office.


Saudi tourism chief eyes Q4 turning point as international flights resume

Saudi tourism chief eyes Q4 turning point as international flights resume
Updated 17 May 2021

Saudi tourism chief eyes Q4 turning point as international flights resume

Saudi tourism chief eyes Q4 turning point as international flights resume
  • Saudi Arabia is targeting 100 million annual visits by 2030

DUBAI: The fourth quarter of this year could be a turning point for Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry as the countries that the Kingdom is targeting reach a 70 percent vaccination rate.
Saudi Tourism Authority CEO Fahd Hamidaddin made the prediction at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai as the Kingdom also reopened its borders on Monday.
Although foreign tourists are still not allowed to travel to the Kingdom, Hamidaddin said earlier on Monday that it was preparing to reopen its borders for inbound travel soon.
Saudi Arabia has opened international tourism offices in major countries including China and Russia and is targeting 28 markets in a global marketing push.
Hamidaddin said international tourism in the country could only boom when other countries also restarted their travel industries — and that this could only be fully considered after they had reached a vaccination rate of 70 percent.
He said that such a vaccination milestone may be reached in the last quarter of the year.
Saudi Arabia opened up the Kingdom to international tourism in September 2019, and has since announced a number of mega projects to attract visitors, including a $530 million fund to develop key destinations across the Kingdom.
Market research firm Euromonitor International estimated in March that inbound tourism spending in Saudi Arabia would reach $25.3 billion by 2025, recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saudi domestic tourism exceeded expectations during the pandemic, despite the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) describing 2020 as “the worst year on record” in the history of tourism.
Saudi Arabia is targeting 100 million annual visits by 2030, up from about 40 million a year before the pandemic.
It wants tourism to account for 10 percent of GDP, up from 3 percent, by 2030.

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Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC said to be in early talks with investors ahead of drilling unit IPO

Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC said to be in early talks with investors ahead of drilling unit IPO
Updated 17 May 2021

Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC said to be in early talks with investors ahead of drilling unit IPO

Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC said to be in early talks with investors ahead of drilling unit IPO
  • ADNOC Drilling owns and operates a large fleet of rigs
  • ADNOC is also planning to float Fertiglobe unit

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has started virtual meetings with potential investors ahead of the planned initial public offering of its drilling unit, two sources told Reuters.
Banks working on ADNOC Drilling are scheduling calls with local, regional and international institutional investors to sound out appetite for the potential sale, said the sources, declining to be named as the matter is not public.
The meetings are described as an early look engagement, one of the sources said, where the company that is set for a public share sale is introduced and feedback is sourced from investors.
ADNOC, which supplies nearly 3 percent of global oil demand, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Monday.
It is planning to take the unit public in the third quarter, one of the sources said previously. The company could raise at least $1 billion from the share sale, the source said.
ADNOC Drilling owns and operates a large fleet of rigs, including 75 onshore rigs, 20 offshore jackup rigs, and 11 well water rigs, according to its website.
The drilling business is critical for ADNOC’s upstream operations, helping the oil company reach its production targets.
ADNOC has invited a handful of international and local banks to take part in the process of the public share sale of ADNOC Drilling, which is due later this month.
ADNOC Chief Executive Sultan Al-Jaber has been the main architect of the transformation strategy the company embarked on more than four years ago, building an investment team to monetise assets and raise funds from international private equity groups.
The group is also planning to float Fertiglobe, a fertilizer joint venture with Dutch-listed chemical producer OCI later this year.


Dubai allows full hotel capacity and concerts, sports events

Dubai allows full hotel capacity and concerts, sports events
Updated 17 May 2021

Dubai allows full hotel capacity and concerts, sports events

Dubai allows full hotel capacity and concerts, sports events
  • The emirate will also allow live entertainment and activities

DUBAI: Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management on Monday has updated precautionary measures for events and activities.
The revised protocols allow entertainment facilities and venues to have an increased capacity of 70 percent, while hotels can raise their occupancy ceiling to 100 percent.
The emirate will also allow live entertainment and activities in restaurants, cafes and shopping malls for a trial period of one month.
It noted that the latest precautionary measures must be observed, and performers and entertainers should be vaccinated against COVID-19. These updates are effective immediately.
The committee stressed that it remains mandatory for people attending events and activities to put on their face masks and apply physical distancing of two meters.

Dubai has pushed to keep its economy, which relies on international trade and business, open through the pandemic after an initial lockdown.

The emirate is due to host the Expo 2020 world fair from October, hoping to attract millions of overseas visitors.

The UAE has in recent weeks banned entry from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka to guard against the spread of the highly contagious Indian variant.

– with Reuters


Seera and Klook sign deal to promote Saudi tourism

Seera and Klook sign deal to promote Saudi tourism
Updated 17 May 2021

Seera and Klook sign deal to promote Saudi tourism

Seera and Klook sign deal to promote Saudi tourism
  • The platform will feature tours and activities operated by Discover Saudi, Seera’s destination management company

DUBAI: Regional travel services company Seera Group has partnered with Klook to help international tour operators promote tourism in the Kingdom.
Under the deal, the pair will create a one-stop digital platform with relevant travel content and inventory management solutions for tourism providers in the Kingdom.
These providers will be able to connect with global marketplaces and international tour distributors to promote Saudi tourism.
The platform will feature tours and activities operated by Discover Saudi, Seera’s destination management company.
“For our partners across the Saudi tourism ecosystem, finding smart ways to connect with travelers enhances their ability to offer unique Arabian experiences to everyone eager to explore the destination,” Fahd Hamidaddin, chief executive of the Saudi Tourism Authority, said in a statement.
The deal, announced at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, combines Seera’s local knowledge of the tourism sector and Klook’s technological capacity.
It comes as the Kingdom plans to increase inbound tourism in line with its ambitious Vision 2030.


Honeywell deploys tech to combat use of fake COVID-19 respirators in UAE

Honeywell deploys tech to combat use of fake COVID-19 respirators in UAE
Updated 17 May 2021

Honeywell deploys tech to combat use of fake COVID-19 respirators in UAE

Honeywell deploys tech to combat use of fake COVID-19 respirators in UAE
  • Nearly 20 factories selling substandard face masks, disinfectants and hand sanitizers have been uncovered in the UAE

DUBAI: Honeywell said it using digital authentication technology in a bid to tackle the use of fake respirators and masks in the UAE and wider region.
It said that surging demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) has triggered an increase in counterfeiting across the region.
Nearly 20 factories selling substandard face masks, disinfectants and hand sanitizers have been uncovered in the UAE since the outbreak of the virus, it said.
“In response to the growing number of counterfeit PPE products in the Middle East and Africa, we’ve chosen the UAE to be the testing ground for digital authentication technology for our PPE distributed across the region,” said Greg Norton, general manager, fine chemicals and authentication technologies. “This software will not only confirm the authentication of our N95 respirators made in the UAE, it will also help detect counterfeit PPE products to help authorities reduce illicit trade during the pandemic.”
To authenticate the product, the end user scans a digital code embedded in the packaging with their smartphone camera after downloading the Honeywell application for iOS or Android. The software validates the product’s authenticity through a database, letting the end user know it is safe to use and gathers market intelligence data.
Honeywell-branded N95 respirators are produced in the UAE by Strata Manufacturing.