Saudi Arabia launches greenhouse gas credit scheme

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Updated 10 October 2023
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Saudi Arabia launches greenhouse gas credit scheme

Saudi Arabia launches greenhouse gas credit scheme

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Monday launched a mechanism allowing companies to purchase credits offsetting greenhouse emissions as part of its efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060.

The Kingdom’s Clean Development Mechanism Designated National Authority unveiled the initiative at MENA Climate Week 2023 in Riyadh.

The Greenhouse Gas Crediting and Offsetting Mechanism, set to launch in early 2024, “aims to increase cooperation among national entities seeking to fulfill their climate ambitions by helping to mobilize finance in all sectors for a variety of projects and activities,” according to its website.

The contours of the project were first announced by Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman at the Saudi Green Initiative held during COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2022.

Under a carbon credit market system, businesses are given a set number of carbon credits, which represent the amount of emissions they are allowed to produce. If a business produces more emissions than its allotted credits, it must purchase additional credits from other businesses that have produced fewer emissions than their allotted credits.

In Saudi Arabia, the nationally determined contributions have gone up by twofold, said Nora Al-Sudairy, a sustainability expert at the Designated National Authority.

An NDC is a climate action plan to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts. Each party to the Paris Agreement is required to establish an NDC and update it every five years.

“We’re now targeting that to 278 million tons of reduced (emissions) per annum in our index by 2030. We also have many climate ambitions like the (goal of achieving) net zero by 2060. GCOM was created and designed for the Kingdom’s needs. We’re enabling the private sector to operationalize their projects and reduce their emissions,” she told Arab News.

Al-Sudairy also said the private sector will also be incentivized for its efforts to cut emissions.

Atheer Al-Kabsi, a senior environmental engineer at DNA, said with the new system in place, the Kingdom’s domestic carbon credit market will help businesses and individuals to offset their emissions by supporting carbon reduction projects. He said it encourages businesses to invest in clean energy technologies.

“GCOM has eight steps starting from operation and planning to credit issuance,” she told Arab News.

Al-Kabsi stressed the need for investing in new technologies to ensure sustainable efforts to reduce emissions. “Once (companies) they’ve established a technology or a project that reduces emissions, they can come and register under GCOM if they’re eligible and they can issue credits and these credits or certificates would help them monetize these projects. They can also use it to offset their own emissions,” she added. 

In order to ensure sustainability, the first step is to identify vulnerabilities and identifying the issues at the community level, according to Ramon Sanchez, director and sustainable technologies and health program research associate at Harvard University’s Environmental Health Department.

“The key to a successful business model that can withstand the ever-changing climate … can be summarized as moneymaking or a money saver for them (businesses),” according to Sanchez, “and at the same time, we are saving the planet.”

He said businesses should have the knowledge of their surroundings and global issues and they must develop the skills of their employees to cope with any change.

“Sustainability should be seamless. You should not notice that you are doing something sustainable,” he added. 

Climate resilience projects are imperative to reducing carbon footprints because they help to reduce the need for energy-intensive adaptation measures in the future. Furthermore, carbon finance will be key for the implementation of the NDCs, and the Paris Agreement enables the use of such market mechanisms through Article 6 and the interest in carbon markets is growing. 

By providing a framework for international cooperation on climate change mitigation, Article 6 can help to lower the cost of reducing emissions and promote investment in clean technologies. 

“The projects will not necessarily be viable without the existence of something like GCOM to incentivize investment and those technologies that are really expensive, to incentivize investments in nature-based solutions that are also equally expensive, if not more expensive sometimes,” Maria Aljishi, international policy adviser for DNA told Arab News.

“It really is meant to help support these initiatives that you mentioned, like SGI. If they need some kind of incentives from a carbon credit that is traded on a domestic level, then that is something where GCOM comes into play. That’s something where they can they can utilize GCOM if they follow the requirements and the guidelines that are set out by the mechanism, then it creates an avenue of revenue to make the projects more viable to exist, allowing us as a country to achieve more and increase our ambition, even though we are already very extremely ambitious,” she added.

Article 6 is also important for the carbon market because it provides a way to ensure that carbon credits are generated from real and verifiable emission reductions. This is important for maintaining the integrity of the carbon market and for ensuring that businesses and consumers can trust that the carbon credits they purchase are making a real difference in the fight against climate change.

“Markets are something new for us in the country and in fact, in the entire region. I believe that GCOM is the first market mechanism of its kind in the entire MENA region,” she added.


ACWA Power, IRENA join hands to accelerate global renewable energy transition

ACWA Power, IRENA join hands to accelerate global renewable energy transition
Updated 18 April 2024
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ACWA Power, IRENA join hands to accelerate global renewable energy transition

ACWA Power, IRENA join hands to accelerate global renewable energy transition

RIYADH: In a bid to add impetus to the adoption of clean energy sources worldwide, Saudi utility firm ACWA Power has signed a deal with the International Renewable Energy Agency, said a press release issued on Thursday.

The Saudi-listed firm said that the partnership aligns with its mission to provide sustainable energy solutions and seeks to accelerate the adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy across the globe. 

ACWA Power will work closely with IRENA to share crucial insights on infrastructure investment in renewable energy, green hydrogen advancement, solar energy, smart grids, and the intersection of energy and water, the press release said. 

The Saudi-listed company also announced its participation in various IRENA initiatives, such as Green Hydrogen, Collaborative Frameworks, Project Facilitation, the Alliance for Industry Decarbonization, the Utilities for Net-Zero Alliance, and the Coalition for Action.

As per the deal, ACWA Power and IRENA will investigate avenues to mobilize finance and investment for renewable energy projects, while also supporting infrastructure for the development, storage, distribution, transmission, and consumption of renewables. 

Moreover, collaborative workshops and seminars will be arranged to exchange best practices, enhance skills, and promote awareness of the energy transition among youth, professionals, and the public using IRENA’s platforms and programs. 

ACWA Power CEO Marco Arcelli said the partnership with IRENA marks a significant milestone in his company’s journey toward a sustainable energy future.

“By combining our strengths and resources, we are prepared to drive meaningful change and accelerate the transition to renewable energy on a global scale,” he said.

The CEO added that through collaborative partnerships and innovative solutions, ACWA Power remains committed to advancing the widespread adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy, shaping a brighter and more sustainable future for generations to come.

IRENA Director General Francesco La Camera commented: “We have less than a decade left to secure a fighting chance for a 1.5°C world. Accelerating the renewable-based energy transition needs industry leaders and this deal between IRENA and ACWA Power stands for the growing commitment of global industry to act on decarbonization.”

He added: “We need to act together to accelerate the sustainable use of renewables and green hydrogen across the globe.”


Closing Bell: TASI ends the week in green with trading turnover at $2.18bn

Closing Bell: TASI ends the week in green with trading turnover at $2.18bn
Updated 18 April 2024
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Closing Bell: TASI ends the week in green with trading turnover at $2.18bn

Closing Bell: TASI ends the week in green with trading turnover at $2.18bn

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose on Thursday, gaining 36.37 points, or 0.29 percent, to close at 12,502.35.

The total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR8.19 billion ($2.18 billion) as 130 stocks advanced, while 90 retreated. 

The MSCI Tadawul Index also increased by 5.98 points, or 0.38 percent, to close at 1,575.11.

The Kingdom’s parallel market, Nomu, followed suit and gained 305.77 points, or 1.16 percent, to close at 26,418.75. This comes as 33 stocks advanced, while as many as 27 retreated.

The best-performing stock on the main index was Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co., as its share price rose by 7.69 percent to SR30.80.

Allianz Saudi Fransi Cooperative Insurance Co. also performed well as its share price saw a 6.79 percent increase to close at SR20.16.

This comes as Abu Dhabi National Insurance Co. completed a strategic acquisition of a 51 percent stake in Allianz, according to the Emirates News Agency, WAM.

ADNIC Chairman Mohamed Al- Nahyan told WAM: “The connection between the UAE and Saudi Arabia is deep, mutually beneficial and ever-growing. At ADNIC, we see Saudi Arabia as a high-potential market which perfectly aligns with our overall growth strategy, and we are looking forward to unlocking new possibilities for growth and success.”

Other top performers include United Cooperative Assurance Co. and Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corp. whose share prices soared by 5.68 percent and 5.51 percent, to stand at SR11.16 and SR14.16 respectively.

The worst performer was Alkhaleej Training and Education Co., whose share price dropped by 5.27 percent to SR33.25.

On the announcements front, Saudi mining giant and Public Investment Fund subsidiary, Saudi Arabian Mining Co., known as Ma’aden, announced the launch of single stock options in a statement on Tadawul. 

SSOs will enable local and international investors to effectively hedge and manage portfolio risks as well as diversify products available for trading in the market. 


Saudi minister calls for ‘decisive financial policies’ to counter global economic uncertainties

Saudi minister calls for ‘decisive financial policies’ to counter global economic uncertainties
Updated 18 April 2024
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Saudi minister calls for ‘decisive financial policies’ to counter global economic uncertainties

Saudi minister calls for ‘decisive financial policies’ to counter global economic uncertainties

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s finance minister on Thursday stressed the need for “decisive financial policies” across the world to navigate through uncertain economic conditions.

Speaking during the Spring Meetings 2024 of the IMF held in Washington, D.C, Mohammed Al-Jadaan noted that such a decisive approach would bolster resilience and sustainability amid the ongoing uncertainties.

He was attending a meeting of finance ministers and governors of the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan region with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

“I also participated in the Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable, where I highlighted the importance of enhancing Comparability of Treatment by establishing a clear and fair framework that ensures equitable treatment among all creditors,” Al-Jadaan said in a post on X.

Additionally, the minister participated in the second G20 finance ministers and central bank governors’ meeting held under the Brazilian presidency in Sao Paulo. He emphasized that effective climate action required a holistic approach.

He said that can be achieved “by integrating diverse sectors acknowledging the diversity of solutions to address climate challenges, including using innovative technologies to manage emissions.”

Al-Jadaan also met with Jose Vinals, chairman of Standard Chartered Bank, to discuss the regional and global economic outlook.

He also met with Spanish Minister of Economy, Trade, and Business, Carlos Cuerpo to discuss ways to enhance relations between the two countries.

Moreover, Al-Jadaan held talks with Jean Lemierre, chairman of Bank BNP Paribas, the global head of Official Institutions Coverage, Laurent Leveque, and the head of Debt Capital Markets, Alexis Taffin.

They discussed progress made in Saudi Arabia, as well as issues related to attracting investment and alternative financing.


Magrabi opens new complex in Makkah

Magrabi opens new complex in Makkah
Updated 18 April 2024
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Magrabi opens new complex in Makkah

Magrabi opens new complex in Makkah

RIYADH: With a new branch in Makkah, Magrabi Hospitals and Centers are expanding to more Saudi cities to meet the growing demand for specialized ophthalmological and dentistry care.

Minister of Health Fahad Al-Jalajel inaugurated the medical complex and one-day surgery center in the holy city, accompanied by Magrabi Hospitals and Centers CEO Mutasim Alireza, the Group’s Deputy CEO and Cheif Operating Officer Abdulrahman Barzangi, and several officials and dignitaries.

Al-Jalajel underscored that the opening reflects the Kingdom’s commitment to enhancing the quality of its healthcare services and transitioning toward a more comprehensive and integrated medical system.

He further stated that this initiative is a vital component of the Health Transformation Program, a foundational aspect of Saudi Vision 2030, which has achieved significant milestones and advancements in the medical sector under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Following the official inauguration, the minister toured the complex’s facilities, noting its significance as a notable project and a valuable contribution to the Kingdom.

Alireza said: “This specialized medical complex underscores our commitment to being at the forefront of healthcare for ophthalmology and dental services and continuing our mission to offer specialized medical services that meet community needs with the utmost quality and safety.” 

In March, Magrabi Ophthalmology and Dentistry Hospital Dammam officially opened its doors in Al-Shaala, marking an achievement for medical care in Saudi Arabia.

The Magrabi Dammam health facility is the largest specialized center in the region and provides sub-specialized services, meeting the highest quality standards and leveraging the latest global technologies.


UAE records 64% surge in trademark registrations

UAE records 64% surge in trademark registrations
Updated 18 April 2024
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UAE records 64% surge in trademark registrations

UAE records 64% surge in trademark registrations

RIYADH: The UAE recorded an annual 64 percent surge in trademark registrations, amounting to 4,610 in the first quarter of 2024, official data showed.

The figures, released by the nation’s Ministry of Economy, reveal the notable increase from 2,813 signups in the same period of 2023. 

March emerged as a particularly prolific period, with 2,018 new brands reported.

The trademarks registered during this time span a wide range of key sectors, including smart technology, transportation, food and beverage and pharmaceuticals as well as medical devices, finance, real estate, and more. 

The preceding months of January and February collectively accounted for 2,592 trademarks, further highlighting sustained growth and momentum in registrations.

As the country continues to position itself as a global business hub, trademark registrations serve as a crucial indicator of economic vitality and innovation-driven growth.

In a release on X, the ministry noted on April 17 that it has: “Worked on developing the trademark registration service, using the latest technologies and innovative solutions to achieve higher efficiency and better interaction with clients.”

The UAE’s adherence to international treaties and agreements further strengthens its trademark registration regime. 

By adhering to agreements like the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights or TRIPS, the UAE facilitates international trademark registration and enforcement, empowering businesses to broaden their operations across borders.

The nation has further established mechanisms for enforcing trademark rights and combating infringement. 

These include civil remedies, such as damages, injunctions, and seizure of infringing goods, as well as criminal penalties for trademark counterfeiting and piracy.