Over 100 countries pledge to take steps to end deforestation, cut methane emissions

Over 100 countries pledge to take steps to end deforestation, cut methane emissions
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a sign he called the 1.5 sign, during the “Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment” event during UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland on Tuesday. Reuters
Short Url
Updated 07 April 2022

Over 100 countries pledge to take steps to end deforestation, cut methane emissions

Over 100 countries pledge to take steps to end deforestation, cut methane emissions

GLASGOW: The UN climate summit in the Scottish city of Glasgow witnessed “the first big achievement” on Tuesday as over 100 countries pledged to take steps to end deforestation, cut methane emissions and help South Africa wean itself off coal. 

The UK government said it has received commitments from leaders representing more than 85 percent of the world’s forests to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030. Among them are several countries with massive forests, including Brazil, China, Colombia, Congo, Indonesia, Russia and the US. More than $19 billion in public and private funds have been pledged toward the plan.

However, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned against “false hope.” He said that the world must not think “in any way that the job is done, because it is not — there is still a very long way to go.”

“But all that being said, I am cautiously optimistic,” Johnson told a news conference.

Experts and observers said fulfilling the pledge will be critical to limiting climate change, but many noted that such grand promises have been made in the past — to little effect.

“Signing the declaration is the easy part,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Twitter. “It is essential that it is implemented now for people and planet.”

Deforestation, or land clearing for products such as palm oil, soy, and beef accounts for almost a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Previous deals to save the world’s forests, most notably in 2014, have failed to slow their destruction. 

Dozens of countries joined a US and EU pledge to cut emissions of methane — a potent greenhouse gas — by at least 30 percent this decade, in a major commitment for climate action.

“One of the most important things we can do between now and 2030, to keep 1.5 C in reach, is reduce our methane emissions as soon as possible,” said US President Joe Biden, referring to the central goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

He called the pledge, which has so far been signed by nearly 100 nations, a “game-changing commitment” that covered countries responsible for around half of global methane emissions.

European Commission head Ursula Von der Leyen said that the methane cut would “immediately slow down climate change.”

“We cannot wait until 2050. We have to cut emissions fast and methane is one of the gases we can cut the fastest,” she said.

While the summit’s first day passed with much rhetoric but only lukewarm climate pledges, Tuesday’s twin announcements were broadly welcomed by campaigners.

The laundry list for COP26 remains daunting, however, with pressure on leaders to commit to faster decarbonization and provide billions to nations already dealing with the fallout of climate change.

Separately, the US, Britain, France and Germany announced a plan to provide funds and expertise to help South Africa phase out coal.

South Africa, which gets about 90 percent of its electricity from coal-fired plants, will receive about $8.5 billion in loans and grants over five years to roll out more renewable energy.

The announcements were not part of the formal negotiations taking place in Glasgow, but rather a reflection of the efforts by many countries to meet previously agreed targets.

 


Oil Updates — Crude slides; Nigeria raises $482m from oilfield licenses; Exxon, Imperial to sell shale assets 

Oil Updates — Crude slides; Nigeria raises $482m from oilfield licenses; Exxon, Imperial to sell shale assets 
Updated 14 sec ago

Oil Updates — Crude slides; Nigeria raises $482m from oilfield licenses; Exxon, Imperial to sell shale assets 

Oil Updates — Crude slides; Nigeria raises $482m from oilfield licenses; Exxon, Imperial to sell shale assets 

RIYADH: Oil prices fell on Wednesday after rising in the previous three sessions as the market tussled between concerns about the global economy and tight global oil supplies.

Brent crude futures for August dropped 84 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $117.14 a barrel by 0444 GMT. The August contract will expire on Thursday and the more-active September contract was at $113.17, down 63 cents, or 0.6 percent.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures slid 54 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $111.22 a barrel.

Nigeria raises $482 million from marginal oilfield licenses

Nigeria has raised more than $482 million from the issuance of oil prospecting licenses after it offered 57 fields for bidding, the petroleum regulator said on Tuesday.

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission said over 70 percent of the awardees have fully paid for their licenses, two years after bids were sought for the oil blocks. It did not say how many licenses were issued.

Marginal fields are smaller oil blocks located onshore or in shallow waters and are typically developed by local companies.

The NUPRC, which was established last year after Nigeria passed a new petroleum law, said 30 oil fields were awarded between 1999 to 2010, with 17 producing. The latest round of 57 oilfields began in 2020.

Nigeria’s oil minister said on Friday that after meeting with oil companies he expects to see some improvement in the sector that will enable Africa’s top producer to meet its OPEC production quota by the end of August.

Exxon, Imperial to sell Canada shale assets 

US oil major Exxon Mobil Corp. and Imperial Oil Ltd. said on Tuesday they will sell their Montney and Duvernay shale oil and gas assets in Canada to Whitecap Resources Inc. for $1.48 billion.

Exxon and Imperial, which jointly own the assets, began marketing them at the start of this year, hoping to capitalize on a rebound in oil and gas prices.

The assets were valued at up to $1 billion in January by industry insiders.

A strong run-up in commodity prices since then, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stoking global supply concerns, has pushed up the value of oil and gas properties across North America.

Imperial’s share in the sale will be around $729 million, the companies said on Tuesday.

The assets being sold include 567,000 net acres in the Montney shale play, 72,000 net acres in the Duvernay basin and additional acreage in other areas of Alberta.

(With inputs from Reuters) 


OPEC+ begins policy debate as capacity constraints loom

OPEC+ begins policy debate as capacity constraints loom
Updated 40 min ago

OPEC+ begins policy debate as capacity constraints loom

OPEC+ begins policy debate as capacity constraints loom

LONDON: The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, begin a series of two-day meetings on Wednesday with sources saying chances of a big policy change look unlikely this month, according to Reuters.

At its last meeting in early June OPEC+ decided to speed up production cuts and to raise output each month by 648,000 barrels per day in July and August, up from earlier increases of 432,000 bpd.

OPEC+ consists of OPEC and allies such as Russia.

Washington welcomed OPEC’s decision, which came after months of pressure from the West on OPEC+ to raise production to help cool off oil prices, which soared as a result of sanctions on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.

However, prices kept rising due to tight supply and worries that OPEC is coming close to running out of spare capacity to raise output any further.

French President Emmanuel Macron told US President Joe Biden this week that he has been told that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates can barely increase oil production.

Biden will travel to the Middle East including Saudi Arabia next month and is widely expected to further press Riyadh to raise production.

At least five OPEC+ delegates said the meeting this week will focus on confirming August output policies while not discussing September.

Two other delegates said the issue of production post August could emerge but it was not clear what steps could be taken.


Luxury hotel brand JW Marriott makes Saudi debut with Riyad Capital   

Luxury hotel brand JW Marriott makes Saudi debut with Riyad Capital   
Updated 52 min 3 sec ago

Luxury hotel brand JW Marriott makes Saudi debut with Riyad Capital   

Luxury hotel brand JW Marriott makes Saudi debut with Riyad Capital   

RIYADH: International hotel brand JW Marriott will debut in Saudi Arabia with the rebranding of Burj Rafal hotel in Riyadh, the project owner Riyad Capital said. 

In a bourse filing, the Saudi fund manager revealed that the hotel's development has achieved the first phase to deliver a luxury corporate destination in King Abdullah Financial District’s new business center.

The first phase of the improvement plan includes enhancements to arrival experiences, as well as new food and beverage outlets, it added.

Riyad Capital said the remaining phases of the project will be implemented according to the strategy set forth earlier.


TASI begins in red as investor awaits oil price stability: Opening bell

TASI begins in red as investor awaits oil price stability: Opening bell
Updated 56 min 4 sec ago

TASI begins in red as investor awaits oil price stability: Opening bell

TASI begins in red as investor awaits oil price stability: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi stocks opened Wednesday's session in red as investors awaited possible stabilization of oil prices.

The main index, TASI, fell 0.19 percent to 11,648, while the parallel market, Nomu, added 1.02 percent to 20,565 as of 10:09 a.m. Saudi time.

Abdullah Saad Mohammed Abo Moati for Bookstores Co. led the gainers with 3.93 percent gain, after it posted SR15 million ($4 million) in profit for its fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, an increase of 183.3 percent.

Leading the fallers was Tihama Advertising and Public Relations Co., down 2.67 percent.

Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, started today’s trading down 0.77 percent.

In the financial sector, the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi dropped 0.59 percent, while Bank Aljazira fell 0.09 percent.

Al Moammar Information Systems Co. edged down 0.50 percent, following an agreement with US-based Cloudera to host and distribute its services in the Kingdom.

SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co. gained 0.84 percent, following the announcement that it will pay dividends of SR4 a share in the first half of the year.

Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Co. fell 0.47 percent, following shareholders approval of SR0.50 per share for dividends in 2021.

Dar Alarkan Real Estate Development Co. decreased 1.25 percent, following the appointment of Yousuf Al Shelash as chairman and Majed Abdul Rahman Al Qasim as vice chairman.

Retal Urban Development Co. lost 1.81 percent, following the acquisition of SR339 million in residential land in the Sedra Masterplan Community.

In energy trading, Brent crude settled at $117.10 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate reached $111.20 a barrel, as of 10:06 a.m. Saudi time.

 


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Wednesday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Wednesday
Updated 49 min 46 sec ago

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Wednesday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Wednesday

RIYADH: Saudi stocks regained some momentum on Tuesday, mirroring a rise in oil prices after China eased lockdown restrictions.

TASI surged 2.1 percent to 11,671, buoyed by a 3.3 percent rise in oil giant Aramco and a 3.4 percent leap in the Kingdom’s biggest lender Saudi National Bank.

The parallel market, known as NOMU, also recorded a 0.6 percent gain to end the day at 20,358 points.

With Saudi Arabia leading the gainers in the Gulf, stock exchanges of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Qatar added 1.9, 1.1, and 1.1 percent, respectively.

This was followed by marginal gains amounting up to 0.3 percent in the Omani and Kuwaiti indexes, while Bahrain’s BAX bucked the trend to close 0.3 percent lower.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Egypt’s benchmark index EGX30 extended losses as it slipped 0.8 percent.

In energy trading, Brent crude reached $117.44 a barrel by 9:09 a.m. Saudi time on Wednesday, while US West Texas Intermediate traded at $111.44 a barrel.

Stock news

  • The Saudi Investment Bank, known as SAIB, completed the issuance of SR2 billion ($533 million) worth of Riyal-denominated Sukuk
  • Saudi Telecom Co., better known as stc, received its board’s approval to repurchase up to 15 million shares at SR453 million for an employee incentive plan
  • Derayah REIT fund received the board of directors’ approval to restructure its financing, which stood at SR748 million by 2021 end
  • Ayyan Investment Co. almost completed construction works at Al Salam Hospital and expects to obtain the required licenses to begin trial operations by the third quarter of 2022
  • Hail Cement Co.’s shareholders approved buying back 4.9 million shares and keeping them as treasury shares
  • Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Co.'s shareholders approved a dividend distribution of SR3 per share for the second half of its financial year ended March 31, 2022
  • Naseej for Communication and Information Technology Co. was awarded a deal valued at SR14.5 million to implement a project in the field of e-education and training
  • Shareholders of the Red Sea International Co. will vote on a capital reduction of 50 percent to SR302 million in the next general assembly meeting
  • Saudi Advanced Industries Co. appointed Youssef Al-Qafari as board chairman instead of Abdullah Al-Juraish, who retains his membership in the board of directors
  • Abdullah Saad Mohammed Abo Moati for Bookstores Co. posted a 183 percent profit surge to SR15.1 million for its fiscal year ending March 31, 2022
  • Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co. named Yousuf Al Shelash chairman of the board and Majed Abdul Rahman Al Qasim vice-chairman
  • Retal Urban Development Co. bought SR339 million worth of residential lands within the Sedra Masterplan Community
  • Shareholders of Saudi Arabia Refineries Co. approved a dividend payout of SR0.5 per share for 2021
  •  SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co. will distribute SR4 per share in dividends for the first half of the current year

Calendar

  • June 30, 2022

End of the Wafrah for Industry and Development Co.’s subscription to new shares

End of Petro Rabigh’s subscription to new shares

  • July 4, 2022

Launch of single-stock futures trading on Tadawul

  • July 7, 2022

Saudi Exchange will close for Eid Al Adha holidays and resume trading on July 13