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Fossil Fuels Coals and Ecologically Damaging and Dangerous Ways of Doing Economics Are Dinosaur Economics: It Has No Part In the Future of a Clean Green Circular and Sustainable Economics Whose Functioning Maxim Is: Do No Harm to Anyone Or Anything: The Humanion

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Asia is made of countries: Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Armenia:Europe: Azerbaijan:Europe: Bahrain, Baangladesh, Bhutan, British Indian Ocean Territory, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, Cyprus:Europe: East Timor, Georgia:Europe: Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar:Burma: Nagorno-Karabakh, Nepal, North Korea, Northern Cyprus, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, South Ossetia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey:Europe: Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Coal Power Plants Is Locking Pakistan Into Too Much Supply and Unsustainable Capacity Payments: The Renewables Are Far Cheaper and Better Green Options for the Country and It Stands to Bring In International Investments Saving the Country Getting Into Debts Building Coal Plants That Have No Future

 

|| Wednesday: July 01: 2020 || ά. With electricity demand growth slowing, even, before COVID-19, Pakistan is faced with the increasing financial burden of power capacity payments and overcapacity risk at a time when renewables are the cheapest source of energy available, finds a new IEEFA Report. Two more Chinese-financed coal-fired plants have reached financial close so far in 2020, with more in the pipeline, intended to meet overestimated demand growth projections.

Report Author Mr Simon Nicholas, Energy Finance Analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis:IEEFA, says that the Government needs to urgently rebalance proposed new energy builds against a changing power demand growth outlook post the COVID-19 lockdown. Overall thermal power capacity utilisation, including, coal plants, was just 40% in financial year 2018-19 according to National Electric Power Regulatory Authority:NEPRA data. Capacity payments still have to be made to power plants, that, may, increasingly, be sitting idle post COVID-19 amidst lower-than-expected power demand growth.

“Power shortages in Pakistan tend to be due to grid issues rather than a lack of generation capacity.” says Nicholas. “Instead of addressing transmission and distribution issues, the Government plans to continue rolling out large coal-fired stations with significant capacity payments due, according to their agreed tariff.” Mr Nicholas notes that ever cheaper solar and wind renewable energy tariffs don’t include capacity payments.

Unsustainable high and growing capacity payments are making electricity more expensive and contributing to the accumulated circular debt within the power system, that has now reached, around, Rs02 trillion, $12 billion. With 130 and counting, financial institutions around the world, already, refusing to finance coal as they turn towards cheaper more sustainable renewable and alternative energies, Chinese finance is increasingly becoming the only funding source available for coal power. “Pakistan faces the prospect of further power system debt to just one nation, if, it continues its plan to exploit Thar coal reserves.” says Mr Nicholas.

‘’A switch in focus from coal to renewables would attract far more diverse sources of power finance and investment whilst reducing debt reliance on a single nation.’’ Mr Nicholas says. Smaller, modular renewable energy additions, grid improvements and energy efficiency will help reduce the risk of overcapacity and avoid the further burden of capacity payments, according to the report.

“In addition to being the cheapest source of new power generation in Pakistan, renewable energy, also, has the advantage of being able to attract a wider range of potential investors to Pakistan, who now do not want to invest in coal.” Mr Nicholas modelled power demand growth for the country as a whole with a focus on renewable energy leader Sindh province.

‘’IEEFA’s modelling suggests that Sindh Province could reach more than 50% renewable energy capacity by 2030, leading Pakistan in meeting its national renewables target.’’ says Mr Nicholas. While not as ambitious as IEEFA’s modelling, Mr Nicholas notes that the Government’s new draft energy policy represents a significant step forward for increased renewable energy ambition in Pakistan.

“Instead of locking in long-term, expensive overcapacity, Pakistan’s post-pandemic economic growth and prosperity will be better enabled by further reliance on ever cheaper wind and solar than on fossil fuel-based plants dependent on large loans, that are required to be repaid quickly.” he says.

About The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis:IEEFA: IEEFA examines issues related to energy markets, trends and policies. The Institute’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy.

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In the Time of COVID-19: How Is the Baangladesh Economy Doing: Two: Baangladesh Must Aspire to Get Out of This Pandemic Into a Fully-Fledged Universal Health and Social Care System for All

 

 

|| Thursday: June 18: 2020 || ά. The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund:IMF, approved a disbursement of SDR177.77 million, about US$ 244 million or 16.67 percent of quota, under the Rapid Credit Facility:RCF and a purchase of SDR355.53 million, about US$488 million or 33.33 percent of quota, under the Rapid Financing Instrument:RFI on May 29 to Baangladesh. This will help finance the health, social protection and macro-economic stabilisation measures, meet the urgent balance-of-payments and fiscal needs, arising from the COVID-19 outbreak and catalsze additional support from the international community.

The COVID-19 pandemic is severely impacting the Baangladeshi economy. Two major sources of external financing, namely, exports of Ready-Made Garments:RMG and remittance inflows, are projected to decline rapidly. Necessary policy responses to prevent a domestic pandemic, including, the shutdown of major cities, will inevitably affect economic activities and slow growth. The authorities have started implementing several measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and preserve the country’s macro-economic prospects. In addition to increasing health expenditures, the government’s immediate response has focused on expanding food distribution and cash transfer programmes to vulnerable populations, ensuring the payment of wages in export-oriented industries and facilitating the provision of working capital to businesses and farmers.

The authorities remain committed to promoting strong and inclusive growth while preserving macro-economic stability. Key policy challenges include tax revenue mobilisation, addressing the non-performing loans in the banking sector and improving infrastructure and governance to enhance the business environment and attract foreign direct investment. 

The IMF continues to monitor Baangladesh’s situation closely and stands ready to provide further advice and support, if, needed. The authorities have, also, committed to put in place targeted transparency and accountability measures to ensure the appropriate use of emergency financing. Following the Executive Board’s discussion on Baangladesh, Ms Antoinette Sayeh, the Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, issued the following statement:

“The outbreak of COVID-19 is severely affecting the two main sources of Baangladesh’s external earnings, exports of ready-made garments and remittances. Together with the measures to contain the spread of the virus in the country, the outbreak is expected to result in a significant slowdown of economic growth and the emergence of fiscal and balance of payments needs. The IMF’s emergency financial assistance will help cover the financing gap and support the authorities’ effort to contain the adverse impact of the outbreak and catalise additional support from the international community.’’

“The authorities have responded quickly to the COVID-19 outbreak with a comprehensive set of measures, aimed at containing the spread of the pandemic, providing immediate relief to the most vulnerable households and affected businesses and preserving the country’s macro-economic prospects. A temporary increase in the fiscal deficit is necessary and it will be important to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of all emergency spending.’’

“The Baangladesh Bank took appropriate steps to ease liquidity conditions and allow the financial sector to support the economy. Further easing could be considered, if, the economic situation deteriorates and inflation remains moderate. A gradual increase in exchange rate flexibility should be allowed to adjust to the external shock while preserving foreign reserves.

Once the crisis abates, the authorities are committed to re-focus on addressing banking sector problems, including, non-performing loans and the poor performance of the state-owned commercial banks. They are, also, committed to ensuring fiscal discipline and debt sustainability by broadening the tax base and strengthening tax administration and compliance.”

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In the Time of COVID-19: How Is the Baangladesh Economy Doing: One: Baangladesh Must Aspire to Get Out of This Pandemic Into a Modern Welfare State with Universal Social Security For All Citizens Who Need It

 

 

|| Monday: June 15: 2020 || ά. To help Baangladesh during this Pandemic crisis, the International Monetary Fund:IMF has approved emergency loans, totalling around $732 million. IMF Country Focus spoke with the IMF’s resident representative for Baangladesh Mr Ragnar Gudmundsson about some of the specific challenges facing the country. ‘’Baangladesh has been severely impacted. Up until the crisis, the economy had been growing close to 07% a year on average over the past decade. We now project 02% for 2020, a drop of 06% points from 2019.

The economic impact has been felt in three main avenues: first, a drop in domestic economic activity, after the shutdown announced on March 26, now, gradually, being lifted; the second is a decline in exports of ready-made garments, which represent more than 80 percent of Baangladesh’s exports and have been strongly impacted, overall exports fell by 83 percent year-on-year in April. Finally, there has been a fall in remittances from Baangladeshis, living, mostly, in Middle Eastern countries, affected not just by the pandemic but, also, by the decline in oil prices.’’

‘’We are still expecting a pick-up in activity toward the end of 2020 and in 2021, with growth climbing back to around 06%. Of course, that depends on the domestic economy starting to recover. But there is so much uncertainty and it is very difficult to ascertain with precision the recovery’s speed or extent. We still expect that the country would quickly come back to previous growth rates, if, global economic conditions are supportive.’’

‘’Baangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and this is a huge challenge when you are trying to contain the impact of a pandemic like COVID-19. Another challenge is limited health infrastructure. The capacity of the health system is really being put to the test and requires considerable support from development partners. It is estimated that the country needs about $250 million for clinical equipment, testing and contact tracing, just to respond to the initial impact. This amount will need to be mobilised with external support.’’

‘’IMF resources, in the form of loans under the Rapid Credit Facility:RCF and Rapid Financing Instrument:RFI, will be channelled through the budget to help the government meet its new spending needs in health and social protection; to meet balance of payments needs; and to catalyse additional donor support. Financing from other international institutions and donors has been approved.’’

‘’Baangladesh recognises the importance of transparency, accountability and good governance. The government is committed to using the crisis resources transparently and effectively and to carry out an audit of COVID-19 related expenditures within 12 months of the end of the crisis. The country has, also, committed to amending existing rules so as to provide information on the beneficial ownership of companies, that are awarded procurement contracts.’’

‘’Before the crisis, Baangladesh was in a very good position, with a low risk of overall and external debt distress. We anticipate that all the crisis-related borrowing will raise the public debt-to-GDP ratio to about 41 percent of GDP over the coming years, from 36 percent at the end of 2019.  Even so, debt should remain sustainable. In a way, this is a testament to the sound economic and fiscal policies implemented in recent years, with limited aid dependency, prudent borrowing and, up until the crisis, adherence to a deficit ceiling of 05% of GDP. Over the medium term, the government needs to mobilise more resources domestically to fund additional spending for health, education, infrastructure and social protection.’’

‘’Since March, several stimulus measures were deployed to sustain economic activity and protect the most vulnerable. There is a package of about $600 million to support the wages of workers in the ready-made garment sector, provided in the form of subsidised loans to companies so that they can pay wages for three months. This is very important because the ready-made garment sector is responsible for much of the recent progress in incorporating women into formal economic activity. Additionally, takas totalling about $150 million will be provided as cash assistance to about five million families displaced by the pandemic. There are, also, measures to protect the homeless and for food distribution. Cash allowances for the elderly, widows and disabled individuals are, also, being expanded.’’

‘’Climate change is a priority for Baangladesh’s development objectives, as it is one of the countries most vulnerable to extreme weather events. Increased investments in adaptation have made the country more resilient to natural disasters. Cyclone Amphan, a few weeks ago, was perhaps less devastating than initially feared because of better early warning systems and more investments in embankment infrastructure and shelters. As efforts to promote a green recovery take hold, Baangladesh is, also, well placed to attract foreign investment, that will contribute to climate change mitigation.

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European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Loan to Finance Green Upgrades of Türk Telekom Networks

 

 

|| Monday: June 15: 2020 || ά. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development:EBRD is extending a US$100 million loan to Türk Telekom to ensure that network upgrades, aimed at further improving the sustainability of one of the leading telecommunications providers in Turkey continue despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The Company, which offers telecommunications and internet services for around 48 million subscribers, is planning an ambitious investment programme. It includes the modernisation of fixed broadband infrastructure, using energy-efficient technology and equipment.

Mr Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD Managing Director for Turkey, said, “There is a consensus among responsible investors that rebuilding economies after the corona virus pandemic will not be enough. We will have to build back better, to create a more sustainable corporate sector. I am pleased that this EBRD financing will ensure that Türk Telekom’s modernisation, aimed at greater sustainability will continue to benefit millions of people in the country and the environment too.”

Mr Dirk Werner, EBRD Director for Information and Communication Technologies, said, ‘’We are very pleased to continue to strengthen our longstanding relationship with Türk Telekom through this new facility. As a leading operator and driving force behind the innovation and growth of Turkey’s telecommunications sector, Türk Telekom is instrumental in implementing energy efficient investments for the country. We look forward to supporting the company in further achieving its strategic goals.”

Mr Kaan Aktan, Türk Telekom Chief Financial Officer, said, “As part of our sustainability policy, we are implementing projects and initiatives, including, those in the area of energy efficiency. We plan to fully integrate the universal principles of sustainability into our business model, strategies and corporate decision-making. We are glad to have the EBRD as a strategic partner as we continue to accomplish our objectives, focused on sustainability. This new facility reinforces our strong and longstanding cooperation.”

EBRD has previously financed Türk Telekom’s investments in fixed broadband infrastructure in rural Turkey, the roll-out of 4G technology and the construction of a new submarine cable system, connecting western Europe to south-east Asia through Turkey and the Middle East. The new financing is part of EBRD’s efforts to help countries in its regions to combat the economic impact of the corona virus and support the recovery. The Bank stands ready to provide support worth €21 billion over the period 2020-21.

EBRD is a major investor in Turkey. Since 2009 it has invested €12.4 billion through 311 projects in various sectors of the country’s economy, with, almost, all investment in the private sector. The EBRD’s €07 billion portfolio in Turkey is the largest among the 38 economies where the Bank invests.

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The Central Bank of the Philippines Offers New Support for Energy Transition and Renewables

 

 

|| Tuesday: May 12: 2020: Sara Jane Ahmed Writing || ά. The Philippines’ Central Bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, has approved a Sustainable Finance Framework to safeguard the financial system from the evolving material hazards from climate change and energy transition risk, including, stranded assets, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis:IEEFA reports in a new briefing note.

COVID-19 has exposed the country’s ill-prepared supply chains, lack of digitisation and inability to retain critical functionality in events of low probability but serious consequences, such as the pandemic. The Central Bank’s Sustainable Finance Framework offers new support for energy transition and renewables. But it, also, demands leadership from the finance and energy sectors to champion global standards, build real resilience and improve the country’s ability to recover from shocks of non-financial origin.

In other words, it gives banks the impetus to start pricing not only climate and transition risk but, also, to value climate-resilience and low-carbon opportunities. The Central Bank’s new framework mandates, ‘’Banks shall adopt a transition plan with specific timelines to implement the board-approved strategies and policies integrating sustainability principles into their corporate governance and risk management frameworks, as well as, in their strategic objectives and operations.”

The transition plan will be an important catalyst for investors, who are, also, putting more weight on environmental, social and governance standards and complements the work of the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission, which previously released mandatory ESG reporting guidelines for publicly-listed companies, starting in 2020.

For Meralco, the largest utility company in the Philippines, the country’s COVID-19 lockdown has meant a near 40% fall in peak demand for electricity and it has declared a ‘force majeure’ to avoid having to buy power from several independent power producers.

For Mr Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman of Meralco, “The pandemic has become the ‘catalyst’ for Meralco’s digital pivot. COVID-19 is life-changing and it calls all of us to a paradigm shift in everything we do. Meralco will play its part, regardless of the condition; this is the assurance we have given to our customers and the government.”

About IEEFA: The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis:IEEFA examines issues related to energy markets, trends and policies. The Institute’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy.

 

Read The Letter to The Reader: The New Emergency Economics Protocol: Munayem Mayenin

 

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