Key initiatives on nature, carbon markets, renewables and more announced on Day 2 of Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum at COP28

Key initiatives on nature, carbon markets, renewables and more announced on Day 2 of Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum at COP28
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Key initiatives on nature, carbon markets, renewables and more announced on Day 2 of Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum at COP28
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Updated 03 December 2023
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Key initiatives on nature, carbon markets, renewables and more announced on Day 2 of Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum at COP28

Key initiatives on nature, carbon markets, renewables and more announced on Day 2 of Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum at COP28

Key business and philanthropy leaders joined with leaders of multilateral development banks and political leaders from emerging economies at COP28 on Saturday, to announce a range of initiatives aimed at harnessing the resources of business and philanthropy for climate action.

The second day of the inaugural COP28 Business and Philanthropy Forum included key announcements on preserving nature, energy transition alongside a methane abatement accelerator and an initiative to decarbonize health supply chains.

The day was opened with a keynote address from Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, who gave insights into how business and philanthropy leaders can work with global organizations to catalyze a just transition to a greener economy.

There were also sessions on the impact of philanthropy, featuring, Bill Gates, the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates; Dr. Precious Motsepe, co-founder and chief executive, Motsepe Foundation; and Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair, chairman, Abdulla Al-Ghurair Foundation for Education.

A discussion on transition funding, involving Odile Renaud-Basso, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, CEO of Temasek Holdings; and Dr. Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, also explored the distinctive blended finance platform championed by Ahmed Saeed, CEO of Allied Climate Partners, and International Finance Corporation as one of the investors.

With opening remarks from Jesper Brodin, chief executive, Ingka Group, IKEA, the forum also hosted a key discussion on energy, which explored how the sector and other heavy emitting industries can work with policy-makers to galvanize broad action to advance the just energy transition and reduce emissions, whilst providing accessible energy to support the development of all economies and people. The session featured high-level speakers including Mohamed Jameel Al-Ramahi, chief executive, Masdar; Marco Arcelli, chief executive, ACWA Power; and Juliet Davenport, president, The Energy Institute; with closing remarks from Dr. Rajiv Shah, president, The Rockefeller Foundation.

Commenting on the forum and the role the private sector has to play in climate and nature, COP28 Special Representative for Business and Philanthropy and Chair of the COP28 Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum Badr Jafar said: “Governments simply do not have the available capital or capacity to make the climate transition on their

own. To move from the billions we have to the trillions we need, we require urgent, unprecedented, delivery-focused public, business and philanthropic collaboration. The Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum represents a paradigm shift that recognizes this opportunity and connects diverse stakeholders together in a way that creates a multiplier effect on climate and nature impact. The private sector increasingly recognizes that embracing a sustainable and equitable future, leaving no one behind, is the growth story of our time.”

The day also featured sessions on media and climate, harnessing nature for climate impact, the built environment, space and climate, the effects of climate on health, and a pitch session where climate entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to investors.

Among the initiatives announced at the forum were:

Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator

Andrew Steer, CEO, Bezos Earth Fund, in partnership with Methane Hub, CIFF, Quadrature Climate Foundation, and Danone announced the $250 million Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator, to accelerate methane mitigation in livestock production.

The Data for Methane Action Campaign

Kate Hampton, CEO, CIFF, in partnership with Global Methane Hub, High Tide Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Bezos Earth Fund announced The Data for Methane Action Campaign, worth $100 million worth of funding to convert methane data into action.

Join the Planet

Alex Avellanet, board member of Join the Planet, unveiled a global movement committed to repurposing discarded materials into valuable products and reusing them to fund initiatives around the world that can protect, restore and regenerate natural ecosystems through work with local communities. The global movement is supported by the legendary Lionel Messi.

First Movers Coalition

Open remarks were provided by Secretary John Kerry, US special presidential envoy for climate, and Borge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum, for the First Movers Coalition session where CEOs from Volvo Group and Norsk Hydro announced a new partnership to co-develop a roadmap toward supplying near zero-aluminum in 2030.

Health for Climate

Leaders committed to pushing for ambitious net-zero targets across healthcare system supply chains. The health impact of climate change will include more cases of heat stress, infectious diseases, and malnutrition. The initiative, announced by Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, will aim to minimize the contribution of the global health system to the increased health burden it will eventually face.

Nature Positive for Climate Action

Razan Al-Mubarak, president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, and Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, CBD Nature Action Agenda Champion, announced the impact of the Nature Positive for Climate Action call of over 150 businesses and financial institutions having committed to a call to action to contribute to a whole-of-economy approach to transforming economy/society to meet climate and nature goals — noting it is important to activate the ambition loop to strengthen action from parties and put us on the path to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, given the results of the Global Stocktake.

The Indigenous Peoples Initiative

Hindou Ibrahim, chair, International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, announced a call to action to provide direct financing for indigenous peoples and organizations, to join forces in protecting and restoring nature and biodiversity.

ONE AMAZON and ONE AMAZON Impact Fund

Rodrigo Veloso, founder and CEO, ONE AMAZON, and Peter Knez, chairman, ONE AMAZON, announced the ONE AMAZON and ONE AMAZON IMPACT FUND, which is the world’s first trillion-dollar nature-based asset platform, benefitting all stakeholders while making a lasting impact on Amazon Rainforest preservation.

New Funding on Super Pollutants

Christie Ulman, president, Sequoia Climate Foundation, in partnership with Global Methane Hub and other philanthropies, announced new funding for super pollutants worth $450 million, which will help countries incorporate all non-CO2 GHG2 in their new NDC targets for 2035 and leverage additional resources to triple climate finance in this category by 2030.


Najm spotlights digital transformation journey at LEAP 2024

Najm spotlights digital transformation journey at LEAP 2024
Updated 04 March 2024
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Najm spotlights digital transformation journey at LEAP 2024

Najm spotlights digital transformation journey at LEAP 2024

Najm for Insurance Services Company is sponsoring the third edition of LEAP 2024, the premier technology event in the region, presently underway at the Riyadh Exhibition and Convention Center.

Through its participation in this event, which runs until March 7, Najm is showcasing its digital services and initiatives, highlighting its recent digital transformation journey. The company will also spotlight its efforts in raising awareness around traffic safety by providing services that leverage artificial intelligence systems and data analysis, emphasizing its role as the digital partner for insurance companies.

Najm’s pavilion at the entrance of Hall No. 1 showcases the company’s latest technological developments that enhance road safety and improve the quality of life for the community.

Najm’s CEO Mohammad Al-Shehri said: “Our participation in LEAP 2024 demonstrates our remarkable journey in digital transformation, and our ability to integrate relevant parties at multiple levels, starting with offering an advanced connectivity network that supports Najm’s services across the Kingdom. Additionally, Najm has established a modern and advanced data center that supports cloud solutions. This center is linked to advanced cybersecurity systems that will help to fully protect the Najm network.”

Al-Shehri added: “Najm provides automated services to facilitate the flow of operations with partners and government entities, through an advanced connectivity system supported by AI technologies. Najm also benefits from a strong information infrastructure that provides innovative services to raise the level of customer and partner satisfaction.”

The LEAP conference is the most widely attended technology event in the Kingdom and the region. The event brings together hundreds of thousands of attendees to discover the future of technology. This year, more than 1,800 exhibitors, 1,000 speakers, and 600 startup companies are expected to participate. The number of attendees this year will exceed over 170,000 visitors who will have the opportunity to discover the latest innovations presented by some of the world’s most advanced technology companies.

Najm is a closed and unlisted Saudi joint stock company established in 2007, to promote the vehicle insurance sector in the Kingdom. It provides an integrated system of insurance solutions and services to citizens, residents, and visitors in 44 Saudi cities through a skilled Saudi workforce.


Bahri sets Guinness record for largest mobile desalination plant

Bahri sets Guinness record for largest mobile desalination plant
Updated 04 March 2024
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Bahri sets Guinness record for largest mobile desalination plant

Bahri sets Guinness record for largest mobile desalination plant

Bahri Desalination, a specialized business unit of the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia — Bahri — the global shipping and logistics leader, has established a new milestone in seawater desalination production, reinforcing its position as the industry pioneer with the largest floating desalination plant ever built on a marine barge.

The achievement was celebrated at an event held at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, where Guinness World Records officially recognized Bahri Desalination’s innovative mobile seawater desalination plant as the largest of its kind. Measuring an impressive 123 meters in length, the floating mega plant boasts a daily output of 50,000 cubic meters. Bahri, in association with the Saline Water Conversion Corporation and Metito Saudi Limited, has built three such state-of-the-art desalination units installed on customized barges.

Commenting on this achievement, Ahmed Alsubaey, CEO of Bahri, said: “We are honored to receive this distinction from Guinness World Records that validates our status as pioneers in engineering large-capacity, mobile seawater desalination solutions. As a leader in transportation and logistics, Bahri strives to develop innovative water projects that strengthen Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure and self-sufficiency. This record reflects our cutting-edge work in deploying sizable mobile floating desalination capacity where it is needed most along our coastlines.”

The record validates Bahri Desalination’s status as an industry pioneer in building large-scale, cost-effective mobile seawater desalination plants that can be deployed to new coastal locations. Going forward, Bahri will continue driving progress through projects dedicated to the sustainable development of Saudi Arabia’s maritime and water supply sectors.


stc Group unveils venture capital arm, tali ventures

stc Group unveils venture capital arm, tali ventures
Updated 04 March 2024
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stc Group unveils venture capital arm, tali ventures

stc Group unveils venture capital arm, tali ventures

stc Group, the Kingdom’s engine of digital transformation, has announced the launch of its corporate venture capital arm, “tali ventures,” which will serve as a catalyst for innovative startups, leveraging stc Group’s ecosystem. This milestone underscores the group’s commitment to propelling technological advancement and fostering a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem across its operating markets.

tali ventures has already made significant strides by investing in startups such as Nile (network equipment solutions), Rewaa (inventory management solutions), and NearPay (digital payments solutions).

“These initial investments demonstrate the group’s dedication to adopting new technologies, embracing innovative ideas and driving technological transformation,” a statement said.

Emphasizing the fund’s ambitious vision, the launch of tali ventures marks a pivotal moment in stc’s journey to empower the world’s brightest minds. The group aims to be a leading force in nurturing entrepreneurial talent and advancing groundbreaking initiatives, by committing to investing in revolutionary startups through collaborating with renowned global funds such as Sanabil and Prosperity7.

Focusing on key areas such as artificial intelligence, fintech, proptech, ICT, cloud, IoT, cybersecurity and other digital trends, tali ventures will support ventures that have the potential to revolutionize industries. tali ventures empowers startups from their inception to growth stage, providing comprehensive support across diverse fields. This holistic approach cultivates innovation from the ground up, nurturing a thriving ecosystem of talent.

The launch signifies a continuation of stc Group’s efforts to foster innovation through strategic investments. Initiatives such as the InspireU program, which incubates and supports more than 100 startups, stand as testament to this commitment. Furthermore, STV and stc venture funds have invested in numerous startups, driving economic diversification and growth in line with stc’s “DARE” strategy.


New Murabba to bring Riyadh’s visionary downtown to life

New Murabba to bring Riyadh’s visionary downtown to life
Updated 03 March 2024
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New Murabba to bring Riyadh’s visionary downtown to life

New Murabba to bring Riyadh’s visionary downtown to life

New Murabba Development Company has signed an MoU with the Tourism Development Fund to spearhead the transformation of Riyadh. The agreement will see the two entities work closely together to create New Murabba: the world’s largest, modern downtown, serving as a model for future urban development and contributing toward Riyadh city’s evolution, in line with Vision 2030.

NMDC’s strategic partnership with TFD aims to fulfill Saudi Arabia’s potential as a leading investment destination — a go-to tourism and hospitality hotspot distinguished by a thriving tech ecosystem, an enabling business environment and a diverse and welcoming society.

The MoU was signed by NMDC CEO Michael Dyke and TDF CEO Qusai bin Abdullah Al-Fakhri. As part of the agreement, TDF will provide direct financing opportunities — in collaboration with its network of partners and contracted investors.

Al-Fakhri said: “We are pleased to have partnered with the New Murabba Development Company to bring this bold undertaking to life, an innovative undertaking that will enhance Riyadh’s status on the global stage as one of the commercial and financial capitals of the world. This is a future-focused partnership that extends our efforts to work in a fully aligned manner with the private sector to create a greater, more prosperous Saudi Arabia.”

He added: “In line with Vision 2030 and the National Tourism Strategy, our agreement with New Murabba Development Company marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Riyadh, one that adds to the richness of the Kingdom’s inspiring story of transformation. Together, we aim to create a modern downtown in the Saudi capital that provides even greater access to exceptional living, working and entertainment experiences. Representing the very best of Saudi excellence, we believe New Murabba will attract tourists — as well as investors — to the Kingdom, and improve citizens’ and residents’ quality of life.”

NMDC CEO Dyke said: “New Murabba will be a gateway to the future. We are confident that our partnership with TDF will enable us to play a transformative role in diversifying sources of income for the Saudi economy, aligning seamlessly with the objectives of Vision 2030. Together, we will create groundbreaking opportunities that will elevate the Saudi tourism landscape and drive New Murabba to the forefront of global innovation.”

He added: “Reflecting our commitment to the community and the environment, New Murabba has been designed in accordance with internationally established best practices and sustainability standards, incorporating green spaces, providing an extensive network of walking paths and promoting healthy living. Our goal is to make New Murabba a truly exceptional place to live, work, play, and visit. We will offer convenient access to a wide range of amenities and experiences that will enhance the lives of residents and visitors, fostering a sense of security and well-being. Accessibility is also a top priority for us, with New Murabba being just 20 minutes away from King Khalid International Airport by car. The Mukaab — a new architectural wonder — will, of course, serve as the centerpiece of New Murabba, redefining Riyadh’s skyline from the outside, while presenting a truly jaw-dropping experience within the inside.”

Established in 2022, NMDC is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, with its board of directors being chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress

stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress
Updated 03 March 2024
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stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress

stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress

stc Group, a global leader in digital transformation, has successfully concluded its sponsorship and participation in Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The group solidified its commitment to innovation and growth through the signing of strategic MoUs with industry giants. The following partnerships were announced:

• IBM Middle East: stc Group and IBM Middle East agree to collaborate on upgrades to current fault management systems through the implementation of the latest cloud-based Netcool fault management platform.

• China Mobile International Limited: The agreement will see both partners work together to advance the deployment and implementation of IoT connectivity services for businesses in the region.

• Channels by stc x Huawei: In collaboration with Huawei, this MoU focuses on driving growth in the devices business, engaging in yearly business plans, and exploring strategic collaborations.

• Channels by stc x Samsung: This joint business plan with Samsung aims to sustain growth initiatives, marking a significant collaboration in the consumer electronics and services sector.

“Partnerships with global entities such as Ericsson, Huawei, and Samsung signify the great strides that stc is making toward an even more globally connected future,” the group said. “With these collaborations, stc is positioned at the forefront of shaping the ever-evolving digital landscape, driving collaboration, innovation and accelerating performance.”

During the event, stc Group showcased a variety of on-ground activations, each highlighting different facets of their technological prowess and commitment to sustainability. These included the AI Selfie, a customized interactive experience that enabled visitors to create their own digital avatars.

The Digital City 3D sand table demonstrated stc Group’s vision for the future of smart cities and their advanced technology. Visitors had the opportunity to be fully immersed in a 3D tour inside Makkah through Makkah 3D Experience, further underscoring stc’s continuous efforts in promoting cultural heritage and visualization technologies, all while illustrating how 5G-Advanced can catalyze digital transformation across sectors.

The IntelliReserve activation specialized in tracking and analyzing data on various wildlife species in the Kingdom, and the Sustainable Park activation gave visitors the chance to experience a virtual journey through interactive screens.

These on-ground activations represent stc Group’s innovative approach to digital transformation and its commitment to sustainability and connectivity.