Codash Wed, 20 Oct 2021 07:08:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Codash 32 32 ASEAN’s biggest banks bet on green real estate Wed, 20 Oct 2021 07:08:00 +0000

SINGAPORE – Southeast Asia’s biggest banks rush to finance sustainability-linked construction projects, even as world’s most indebted real estate developer China Evergrande shocks the industry country real estate.

The biggest names in the region, including DBS Group Holdings in Singapore, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and United Overseas Bank, as well as Malayan Banking in Malaysia, are jostling to support projects integrating environmental, social and governance objectives.

ESG objectives aim to oblige companies to adhere to certain ethical standards in their business activities, for example, ensuring that the environmental impact of a construction project is minimized from start to finish.

In Thailand, Asia Capital Real Estate, a private equity firm with offices in New York and Singapore, is developing an eco-friendly rental apartment complex in Phuket. The 505-unit project includes features such as solar panels and energy-efficient appliances.

Designed to meet green building standards set by the International Finance Corporation, a subsidiary of the World Bank, the project aims to reduce energy and water consumption by more than 40% compared to a conventional building.

He received a green loan of 675 million baht ($ 20 million) from UOB Thailand for the construction. Under the terms of the loan, the bank will record and monitor the management of the borrower’s funds, as well as the sustainability measures agreed with the company.

“Local communities will benefit from facilities that are environmentally friendly and promote the well-being of residents,” said Andy Cheah, Managing Director and Head of Wholesale Banking Services at UOB Thailand, of the expected ESG results of the project. .

In Singapore, City Developments and MCL Land announced in August that they had secured green loans worth S $ 847 million ($ 628 million) to finance two projects in the city-state as part of a joint venture. venture.

One is a condominium of approximately 630 residential units which will be equipped with solar panels to provide 30% of the energy consumed in the common areas.

This development will be funded by a SG $ 418 million green loan from UOB, with the other project supported by SG $ 429 million green loan financing provided by DBS, South Asia’s largest lender. East.

The DBS-funded development is a mixed-use project comprising around 400 apartments and commercial spaces, with green features such as energy-efficient equipment, as well as a pneumatic waste transport system.

“With sustainability increasingly at the forefront of corporate agendas, DBS is committed to supporting forward-thinking companies such as CDL and MCL Land in their ESG plans as we collectively work towards a low-emission future. carbon, ”said Chew Chong Lim, managing director and group head of real estate in the institutional banking arm of DBS.

Singapore’s real estate sector is still buzzing despite the Evergrande crisis, which is on the verge of default after missing a series of bond interest payments. The city-state’s banking system is not very exposed to the Chinese real estate sector, according to Tharman Shanmugaratnam, minister in charge of the Singapore Monetary Authority, the central bank and the city-state’s financial regulator.

Direct exposures represent less than 1% of non-bank lending, the minister said in an update to Parliament earlier this month.

“The loan exposures of our banking sector to the China Evergrande group itself are insignificant,” he said, adding that the authorities are closely monitoring any indirect or spillover effects on Singapore’s economy resulting from the developments. in China.

The city-state is quickly becoming an attraction for green real estate projects. Maybank, Malaysia’s largest bank, is part of a group of lenders who earlier this year provided a five-year green loan totaling SG $ 1.22 billion to refinance a mixed-use development managed by CDL in downtown Singapore. The OCBC of Singapore and the SMBC of Japan also participated in the funding.

The project features architectural features designed to harvest rainwater, as well as photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity.

“We have continued to move forward on sustainable finance initiatives,” said Yiong Yim Ming, CFO of CDL Group. “In doing so, we are channeling capital for better environmental outcomes and aligning with the expectations of the investment community for more sustainable developments. “

The global appetite for green loans has increased. Durable loans totaled $ 321.4 billion in the first half of this year, according to financial data provider Refinitiv, more than tripling levels from a year ago and setting a record for a first half. The second quarter saw a 35% increase over the first quarter of this year and marked the second straight quarter of more than $ 100 billion in loans.

But while the largest lenders in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are in favor of financing environmentally friendly projects, they still have significant room for improvement in this area compared to to their Western peers. Refinitiv data showed that European borrowers accounted for 45% of sustainable loans in the first half of this year, with loans to the Americas accounting for 43% of that activity during the period. Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, accounted for only 8% of the pie.

According to Moody’s Investors Service, financial services companies can maintain their credit standing by embracing a rapid but predictable transition to climate-friendly finance. On the flip side, rushing to take drastic large-scale measures to tackle climate change in the coming years could hurt the quality of loans and invested assets, the credit rating agency warned.

“Financial companies will lend and invest in green businesses and new technologies, as the transformation to a low-carbon economy creates vast financing opportunities,” said Alka Anbarasu, senior vice president at Moody’s.

As ASEAN banks catch up with their peers in Europe and the Americas, one of the challenges for lenders will be to avoid funding projects that engage in “greenwashing” – giving the false impression that development is respectful of the environment when reality does not. match.

“Compared to greenwashing consumer products, which are more tangible, financial products, such as assets, finance or even portfolios, are more complex to value,” said Professor Lawrence Loh, director of the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the National University of Singapore Business School.

“It is difficult for investors or regulators to ‘lift the veil’ on these products, especially to verify claims. They almost exist in a ‘black box’.”

New companies are emerging to meet this need for verification. Fintech startup STACS aims to provide a platform to help banks measure a project’s carbon emissions and other environmental criteria.

“Data pools [lenders] are also fragmented, with tailor-made methods across different industries and markets, making it virtually impossible for banks to accurately measure end-to-end carbon emissions today, ”said co-founder and CEO Benjamin Soh.

“The birth of many environmentally friendly projects is increasing, which allows this sector to be lucrative for banks to finance,” he added. “Much more effort is needed to work together in a concerted manner to promote better green finance. “

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According to the China Beige Book, the Chinese economy lacks new growth drivers Wed, 20 Oct 2021 01:33:00 +0000

China’s slowdown in the real estate sector is affecting economic growth – and it’s not clear that there are new growth drivers to cushion the slack, said the executive director of a China-focused research firm.

“The greatest risk to the future is that, as the party is deliberately …, the party said CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday.

He was referring to the long-ruling Chinese Communist Party in Beijing.

“They hope it is consumption, but it is not consumption yet,” he added.

China reported disappointing 4.9% year-over-year growth in the third quarter on Monday. The country’s National Bureau of Statistics said the real estate sector’s contribution to the economy has slowed.

Beijing has stepped up efforts to curb heavily indebted property developers as it moves away from being an investment-oriented one and debt-driven economic growth model. As a result, Evergrande and other Chinese developers struggled to repay their debts.

At the same time, China has not earned enough Progress in transitioning to a consumer-centric economy, Miller said. He said structural changes that could boost consumption – such as strengthening the currency and increasing the social safety net – have not materialized in China.

Read more about China from CNBC Pro

“Yes, you have seen a decline in investment in recent years, but you have not seen an increase in consumption. This is a goal right now, but it’s one that is not being worked towards – it’s nowhere near the data and I think this is a big concern going forward, “Miller said.

The latest official data showed that investment in fixed assets in the first nine months of 2021 was up 7.3% year-over-year – falling short of expectations of a 7.9% increase forecast by Reuters-polled analysts.

Meanwhile, retail sales rose 4.4% yoy in September, beating analysts’ expectations of 3.3% growth.

Lower home prices could hurt consumption

The challenges China’s real estate sector is facing could weigh on consumer spending, said Michael Pettis, finance professor at Peking University in Beijing.

Homeownership accounts for around 80% of the average Chinese person’s wealth, Pettis said.

“The reason why we are so concerned about consumption is the real estate prices,” the professor told CNBC’s Street Signs Asia on Tuesday.

“When we see a drop in home prices it will decrease the perceived wealth of households and they typically respond by cutting spending and rebuilding their savings. And if that happened, it would be bad for consumption, ”he said.

But if the Chinese economy slows, consumption would hold up better than other investment-oriented sectors like real estate, Petties said.

“If China gets it right, consumption will continue to grow a little slower, but it will still grow quite solidly,” said the professor.

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Biodiversity parks make the most of the monsoons, harvest 1.4 million gallons | Delhi News Tue, 19 Oct 2021 19:01:00 +0000 New Delhi: A recent ecological survey found that 1.4 million gallons of rainwater were collected by the seven biodiversity parks of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) during the monsoon season between July and September this year. The survey was carried out by the employees of the biodiversity parks.
The amount of water stored in the surface waters of four biodiversity parks is nearly 1,100 million gallons. Biodiversity parks officials said the survey was first conducted to determine the role of these parks in conserving water resources in Delhi.
The biodiversity parks efficiently collect rainwater through tree tops and ground vegetation, especially various grasses. They store the water obtained and effectively recharge the groundwater. The DDA Biodiversity Parks with three-story forest communities have treetops that reach a height of 35-45 feet and act as rainwater collectors with around 1,500 plant species. “The precipitation that falls on the dense, closed treetops of the three-story forest communities absorbs considerable amounts of rainwater and slowly releases the water from the treetops to the ground, where it seeps away. The canopies act like a sponge to hold back and release rainwater that falls on vegetation, ”said CR Babu, Professor Emeritus, Center for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems (CEMDE), DU.
Aside from the treetops, the rock systems in some of the biodiversity parks such as Northern Ridge, Aravalli, Tilpath and Tughlaqabad help in the harvesting of rainwater. “The precipitation that falls on the ground quickly seeps away through joints and cracks in the rock system and finally ends up in aquifers, which are the source of water for large parts of South Delhi. There are also charging pits, shallow depressions and shallow valleys where surface runoff from the surrounding catchment areas penetrates these deep recesses and charges the aquifers. When these deep recesses have impenetrable layers, the water is stored and slowly released into the aquifer. These landscapes are covered with grasses and a few shrubs and a few scattered native trees, ”said Babu.
To calculate the amount of water collected by these biodiversity parks, their area and the rainfall data recorded during this monsoons were taken into account. Faiyaz Khudsar, scientist at the Biodiversity Park Program, said: “The biodiversity parks help recharge aquifers and reduce soil erosion.”
These parks also help improve the quality of the environment, including filtering air pollutants, particularly PM10 and PM2.5, from point and non-point sources. Shah Hussain, responsible ecologist and scientist at Aravalli Biodiversity Park, said: “The vegetation, plants and animals in the biodiversity parks form biomass. In addition, the vegetation acts as a filter when trapping pollutants. ” Source link

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CPD Vaccinations, Chicago Mask Mandate, Colin Powell – NBC Chicago Tue, 19 Oct 2021 13:10:22 +0000

Concerns about police staffing continue this week as a vaccine mandate showdown continues between the city and some officials, with those who fail to do so now being placed in unpaid status.

Meanwhile, local experts say Colin Powell’s groundbreaking COVID death serves as a reminder of the importance of boosters, especially for vulnerable populations.

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Illinois Coronavirus Pandemic Today:

Watch live: Governor Pritzker announces COVID-19 update at 9:30 a.m.

Governor JB Pritzker is expected to deliver a COVID-19 update for Illinois Tuesday morning.

Details of what the governor is expected to discuss remains unclear, but he will hold a briefing from the Thompson Center in Chicago at 9:30 a.m. just before heading to the Chicago Sky championship parade and rally.

Watch live here or in the player above.

CPD officials speak out after being placed in unpaid status due to the COVID vaccine mandate

Chicago police officers who were given unpaid status at the start of the city’s COVID vaccine mandate speak out and share their stories with Regina Waldroup of NBC 5.

After a weekend of uncertainty about the implementation of Chicago’s coronavirus vaccination mandate for city workers, police officers face disciplinary action for failing to report their vaccination status.

According to the President of the Fraternal Order of Police, John Catanzara, as part of the enforcement of this mandate, nearly 50 officials were given an unpaid status requiring city workers to confirm whether or not they received the COVID vaccine.

Those workers who have not done so will have to take a test twice a week until the end of the year.

NBC 5 spoke to two officers who were transferred to unpaid status on Monday.

Here’s what they had to say.

Chicago officials urge residents to get COVID vaccines before Thanksgiving

Chicago officials are pushing for more residents to get COVID vaccines, saying vaccination is critical to people’s safety as the holiday season approaches.

During a press conference on Monday, Dr. Allison Arwady, the Department of Health Commissioner for Lightfoot and Chicago, said that while the number of COVID vaccinations is starting to increase in some surrounding states, it has resulted in less restrictive guidelines and recommendations around the holiday season.

Lightfoot said that while there was a large spike in COVID cases and hospital admissions in the fall and early winter last year, this year will likely be different because of the vaccine, and that will likely result in looser restrictions and recommendations.

Read more here.

More than a third of Chicago police have failed to report vaccination status, City says

While more than 8,000 Chicago police officers have kept the city’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate, thousands still haven’t, city officials announced on Monday, two days after city workers’ vaccination requirements went into effect.

A showdown on the request has shrouded the city for days as the Chicago fraternal order police chief urged its members to defy the city’s COVID vaccine guidelines. An injunction was issued against FOP President John Catanzara on Friday prohibiting him from making public comments urging members not to abide by them.

Read more here.

Colin Powell’s death shows the importance of COVID booster vaccinations, Chicago doctors say

Colin Powell, the first African American who died on Monday as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, died of COVID-19 complications despite being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Powell, 84, was immunocompromised and had been treated for multiple myeloma for the past several years, according to a longtime aide.

Multiple myeloma affects the body’s ability to fight infection, and studies have shown that these cancer patients don’t get as much protection from the COVID-19 vaccines as healthier people.

After Powell’s death, doctors at Northwestern Medicine issued a message stating that the 84-year-old’s death should not be deterred by vaccinations, stating that it shows the importance of booster vaccinations.

Read more here.

Unions reach agreements with Pritzker Admin about COVID vaccine mandate

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s government has reached agreements with four unions to meet the state’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements for workers in community housing facilities, officials said Monday.

According to a press release, the governor’s office recently reached an agreement with several unions in Illinois that work in community facilities like the Shapiro Developmental Center, Menard Correctional Center, and Quincy Veteran’s Home.

Workers represented by the unions initially had to receive their first vaccination against COVID-19 by October 14, but the deadline has been postponed to October 26.

Read more here.

Chicago’s top doc says the mask mandate will remain in place for “at least the next few weeks.”

During an interview at Kennedy King College on Saturday where she received her flu vaccine and a COVID booster shot, Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner for the Chicago Department of Health, explained the importance of wearing masks during the cold season.

According to the commissioner of the city’s health department, Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s mask mandate will be in effect for at least the next few weeks.

“We’re sticking to an essential broadcast stand from the CDC, and even if we continue to see progress at the rate we’ve seen, I suspect it would likely take at least a few more weeks,” said Arwady. “My big question is what happens between now and Thanksgiving, honestly.”

Arwady said masking will remain even more important in the colder months.

“Then we usually see respiratory viruses like the flu really take off and we feel better,” said Arwady. “My concern is that I don’t want to say hurray, let’s take the mask off, two weeks later we have to put it back on.”

Read more here.

Chicago police warn officers about the “consequences” of not following the vaccine policy: sources

Chicago police on Sunday warned officials of the consequences of failing to adhere to the city’s vaccine mandate, saying those who fail to adhere to guidelines could face a “separation” from the department.

The internal notice warns that those who fail to adhere to the vaccine policy will be investigated and face fines, sources told NBC 5.

It comes amid an ongoing battle between the President of the Brotherhood of Police, John Catanzara, and the city for the mandate.

Catanzara posted a video statement Friday night after a Cook County judge ordered the union chief to stop making public comments encouraging members to oppose the city’s COVID vaccine guidelines.

Read more here.

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Patents against plastic waste on the rise | Business | Economic and financial news from a German perspective | DW Tue, 19 Oct 2021 06:56:15 +0000

There are thousands of different types of plastic today and the lion’s share of the new plastic will soon end up in the trash. As mountains of used material pile up around the world, people are looking for new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle some of it. Getting rid of even a tiny amount of it will be a daunting task, especially given the popularity of hard-to-recycle products and single-use plastics.

According to the PlasticsEurope trade association, almost 370 million tons of plastic were produced worldwide in 2019. Most of it was synthesized from petroleum or natural gas. This is one of the reasons why many inventors deal with the topic in a variety of ways, for example to make recycling easier or even to look for alternatives to conventional plastics. Technology is key.

According to a new study published Tuesday by the European Patent Office (EPA), the US and Europe are on par on the number of patents in recycling and bioplastics technology. Together, they account for 60% of global patents between 2010 and 2019 to make the plastics industry more circular.

This may seem like old data, but since patent applications are often filed years before products or processes actually appear to consumers, such information can be a good indicator of the future. And what the EPA sees is growing innovation in recycling and alternative plastics.

Plastic bags and straws have been the focus of many single-use plastic bans around the world

Where do the ideas come from?

EPA President Antonio Campinos shares this enthusiasm for a better future with less plastic pollution with no direct bans. “The good news is that innovation can help us meet this challenge by enabling the transition to a fully circular model,” he said in a press release on his agency’s report.

In Europe, Germany has been most active in both plastics recycling and bioplastics technology patents over the past decade, followed by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Italy. However, on closer inspection, the authors of the EPO report find that absolute numbers are not everything.

“Within Europe, France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium stand out for their specialization in both plastic recycling and bioplastic technologies. Although it had the highest percentage of IPFs [international patent families] Due to its larger economy, Germany lacked specialization in these areas, “the report said.

IPF is an industry term meaning a single invention that has been filed with multiple patent offices, which makes it more likely that it is something really innovative and therefore worth counting. Outside of Europe and the US, Japan earned about 18% of these patents, while Korea and China are far behind with only about 5% each.

Simply recycling is no longer easy

At the most basic level, the number of patents worldwide dealing with improving basic mechanical recycling has been increasing for years. In fact, it’s still the easiest and most common way to turn plastic waste into something new. Since the early 1990s, the number of patents to simplify recycling has also risen sharply to make this work easier.

Countries of origin for patents in plastic recycling technologies

But in the past decade, chemical and biological recycling processes have taken over patents. Today they account for twice as many patents as traditional mechanical recycling processes. These chemical methods work by breaking the plastic down into its chemical elements, which can then be reused. On the other hand, these methods are often more energy-intensive.

Another, albeit less explored, option is biological recycling. As the name suggests, this method uses living organisms to turn plastic into compost.

The report recognizes Europe’s excellence in basic research in chemical and biological recycling, but deplores a lack of entrepreneurship to bring these new ideas to market. The continent needs to make better use of what it has by bringing these ideas to industry from universities and other research institutes. So far they have lagged far behind their successful American counterparts.

Don’t forget the easy parts

In addition to examining recycling, the report also highlights a sharp increase in patent applications for alternatives to fossil fuel-based plastics. The manufacture of these alternatives produces fewer carbon emissions and is either bio-based or biodegradable. Here the sectors of health, packaging, cosmetics, detergents, electronics and textiles were at the forefront of innovation.

But with all these innovations, most of the plastic is simply thrown away. While more than 50 million tons of plastic were produced in Europe last year, “25 million tons of plastic waste were dumped and up to 23 million tons could have ended up in rivers, lakes and oceans,” warns the report.

No matter how fancy the technology gets or how much packaging is reduced, plastic will not go away anytime soon. Making things biodegradable or easier to take apart is a huge step forward. But whatever the future holds, the basics of recycling are still important. Simple technologies will continue to play a role in better collecting, sorting, separating and cleaning plastic in a world that is flooded with it.

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Federal loan to stimulate economic growth on Northside Mon, 18 Oct 2021 19:41:35 +0000

LAFAYETTE, La. – News 15’s Jeff Horchak spoke to community members about a federal loan aimed at stimulating economic growth in northern Lafayette.

The aim is to bring ailing buildings back into circulation and to give underserved companies a chance to thrive.

Samuel Pierre, owner of Maid to Clean Vacuum Services and Repairs, says his company has been based in North Lafayette since 1973 and plans to continue his business there.

Kevin Blanchard says it could take a year to set up the CDFI fund’s loans.

The LPTFA received a $ 125,000 grant from the CDFI fund for technical assistance. The grant is designed to provide organizations with expert assistance in improving or establishing a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

LPTFA has been providing mortgage and down payment assistance to first-time home buyers in the Lafayette market for more than 40 years. The formation of a CDFI will enable the LPTFA to expand these community lending activities in exciting ways, said Kevin Blanchard, executive director of LPTFA.

The technical assistance grant will help pay for professional advisory services and other activities that will help build the CDFI business plan over the next few months, Blanchard said.

CDFIs across the country engage in a variety of lending activities designed to fuel investment and economic development in disadvantaged communities.

The LPTFA has a particular interest in building a community development loan fund that would help provide small business loans and fuel economic development opportunities in North Lafayette. Currently, the only CDFIs based in Lafayette are credit unions – credit unions make up the majority of CDFIs in the country.

“We don’t want to compete with the credit unions in this market,” said Blanchard. Rather, we are trying to fill the gaps in the provision of credit, investment and financing services to people and businesses that are not always managed by traditional banks.

CDFIs also have access to competitively-awarded Capital Magnet Fund grants to help develop affordable housing. The LPTFA is also seeking certification as a Community Development Entity, which would enable the LPTFA to serve as a channel for New Market Tax Credits, Blanchard said.

The LPTFA is working with the United Way of Acadiana and the Lafayette Consolidated Government to create an investment plan to combat the food wasteland in North Lafayette – where the USDA has indicated that most North Lafayette census areas have limited access to fresh produce .

Creating a CDFI and associated loan fund can help support local entrepreneurs trying to offer better food options on the Northside, Blanchard said.

“There are many exciting opportunities, especially in North Lafayette,” said Blanchard. “We still have a lot to do to prepare, but we are reaching out to the community to help us with these important decisions.”

The LPTFA hired a nationally renowned consultant to develop a business plan for their CDFI activities and ultimately seek CDFI certification, Blanchard said.

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World leaders are negotiating new goals to protect nature by 2030 – history so far Mon, 18 Oct 2021 12:56:17 +0000

“Getting biodiversity on the path to recovery is a crucial challenge of this decade.” This is how the Kunming Declaration on Biodiversity, which was adopted at the 15th UN Biodiversity Conference on October 13, 2021, also known as COP15, begins.

The purpose of the online meeting was to get governments from around the world to agree on new goals for nature for the next decade to replace the unsuccessful Aichi goals by 2020. This online event will be followed by a personal one in Geneva in January 2022, and negotiations will officially end in April 2022 in Kunming, China, where the world will agree on a global biodiversity framework for the post-2020 period with goals for the next decade.

Most countries (196 total, with the US being a notable exception) help fund the Convention on Biological Diversity, a series of agreements designed to protect the diversity of life on earth, from genes and species to entire ecosystems. Scientists are confident that this biodiversity is now falling sharply. A 2019 report estimated that one million of the nearly nine million species on earth could become extinct this century.

Global crises are often discussed independently. There is the biodiversity crisis, the climate crisis and the air pollution crisis. But the truth is that these issues are all related. Treating them separately overlooks their combined effect on species and ultimately humanity. It is becoming more and more urgent to set ambitious targets to combat biodiversity decline, along with other issues, and to develop credible plans to address them.

The world missed a goal of containing biodiversity loss by 2010 and then set 20 goals for 2020. Although there has been some progress (e.g. ocean), most of the 20 goals were not met.

A kelp forest in a South African marine reserve.
EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma

This is because countries have failed to address the root causes of biodiversity loss, which include the proliferation of harmful chemicals and the demand for energy and resources that exceeds renewables. As a result, tropical forests are being destroyed for the cultivation of palm oil and soy, which is used in many different products.

These systemic challenges require a transformation of the economy, regulatory systems and the way of life of some people – from the way we travel to our food – especially in rich countries like the UK. So the leaders of COP15 tried to make progress on this complex problem.

Read more: Overseas trade has a hidden ecological “disaster footprint” – new report


The convention once expected national governments to implement reforms to meet global goals. But countries have struggled to address cross-border issues such as invasive species and pollution of the atmosphere and ocean. In-country planning to achieve these global goals has relied on collaboration with civil society groups, business and local government, which is often difficult.

To address these issues, at COP15, governments consulted with business and financial leaders, indigenous peoples, youth and women’s groups.

Countries spent three to four years developing national strategies to meet their goals after the 2010 conference and did not have enough time to actually implement them before the 2020 milestone. 192 countries now have national biodiversity strategies and action plans that should enable them to get started right away.


Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a new Kunming Biodiversity Fund worth 1.5 billion yuan ($ 233 million) to support projects to protect biodiversity in developing countries, while Japan raised its own biodiversity fund by 1.8 billion yen ($ 17 million) expanded. There have been other commitments, including that of the European Commission to double funding for biodiversity.

These are relatively small amounts compared to funding coordinated by the United Nations Development Program, which has a portfolio of $ 3.2 billion (£ 2.3 billion) in 138 countries involved in managing invasive species , fighting poaching, coral reef restoration and conservation of protected areas. In September 2021, nine philanthropic organizations pledged $ 5 billion to protect nature. Another important boost to funding could come from redirecting subsidies that are currently damaging biodiversity, such as promoting intensive food production and fossil fuel extraction (valued at more than $ 5 billion a year), to renewable energy and nature-friendly agriculture.

A green tractor pulls a seed drill behind it in a plowed field.
Agricultural subsidies can promote the destruction of endangered habitats.
EPA-EFE / Gyorgy Varga

The organizers of the conference called on countries to integrate biodiversity restoration into all sectors of their economies, for example by developing agriculture and forestry policies that restore, not destroy, nature. Encouragingly, a coalition of financial institutions with assets of $ 13.9 trillion pledged to protect and restore biodiversity through their investments at the conference.

What happens next?

Protecting biodiversity will be a big part of the COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow. It is important that both climate change and biodiversity loss are addressed as two interrelated issues. Because measures against climate change can actually damage biodiversity. The cultivation of bioenergy crops or the management of forests with the sole goal of carbon sequestration can mean replacing habitats rich in species.

Alternatively, nature-based solutions such as rewetting bogs (by raising water levels) to absorb carbon and protecting coastal habitats to reduce flooding can restore biodiversity. President Macron of France and Prince Charles of the United Kingdom proposed that 30% of the climate funds provided by countries and companies under the COP26 negotiations should go directly to restoring biodiversity.

National leaders are better informed than ever about the solutions. But do they have the political courage to make the necessary changes?

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Live Covid news and updates Mon, 18 Oct 2021 09:38:00 +0000
imagePeople queuing for Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 booster <a class=vaccinations in Southfield, Michigan last month.” class=”css-r3fift” src=”” srcset=” 600w, 1024w, 2048w” sizes=”((min-width: 600px) and (max-width: 1004px)) 84vw, (min-width: 1005px) 80vw, 100vw” decoding=”async” width=”600″ height=”378″/>
Credit…Emily Elconin / Reuters

While the virus wave driven by the Delta variant is declining in much of the United States, many counties in the northernmost regions of the country see rising cases as colder weather arrives.

The five states with the highest daily new cases per capita are led by Alaska, which, according to a New York Times database, has the highest daily average: 125 cases per 100,000 people. The next four states with at least 67 cases per 100,000 people are Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Idaho.

The cases in these states are at least trending downward or remaining stable. The five states with the fastest growing case numbers are Vermont, Colorado, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Minnesota, and the two counties with the highest number of cases per capita in Vermont and New Hampshire are on the Canadian border.

The virus followed a similar pattern last fall: in the southern regions, cases decreased after the summer waves, while across the north they steadily increased as the weather got colder and people moved inside.

The big difference this year is that Covid-19 vaccines are widespread and most experts don’t expect another catastrophic winter wave, but they warn Americans not to let up as long as a large section of the population remains unvaccinated.

In Minnesota, the average reported cases have increased 12 percent in the past two weeks. Scott Smith, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Health, said in an email the department was more concerned about factors such as school reopenings and eased mitigation measures than winter weather.

Dr. Rafael Meza, a professor of epidemiology and at the University of Michigan, said there were gains in Michigan, but they appeared to be higher in the center and upper peninsula. Dr. Meza said factors like vaccination rates and school mask requirements could be part of the cause.

According to Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the state’s chief medical director, has seen many cases among Michigan’s school-age children, especially in non-masking districts.

“The weather drives people into poorly ventilated spaces, and when either academic or non-masked social activities take place in poorly ventilated spaces, transmission occurs,” said Dr. Bagdasarian, adding that winter is coming “very bad” time for us here in Michigan. “

Credit…Bianca De Marchi / EPA, via Shutterstock

Sydney further eased restrictions after the state of New South Wales achieved its goal of fully vaccinating 80 percent of the eligible population.

On Monday, thousands of children returned to school after months of home study and more than 100 days of lockdown. Up to 20 fully vaccinated people can gather in a private home, and there is no limit to the number of fully vaccinated people who can attend a funeral or wedding.

“Today is our first day after 80% life”, Dom Perrottet, the Prime Minister of New South Wales, tweeted on Monday. He added, “Do the right thing.”

The easing comes as Australia has moved away from trying to eradicate Covid-19 and instead aims to vaccinate as much of its population as possible.

The aim is to begin reopening fully once 80 percent of the national population is vaccinated. According to the New York Times, as of Monday, 56 percent of the country’s population was fully vaccinated and 72 percent were receiving a dose.

As part of that strategy, the city of Melbourne – which is part of most lockdown days worldwide – will suspend its home stay orders at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, when 70 percent of eligible adults are expected to be fully vaccinated.

“There will be no lockdown, no restrictions on leaving the house and no curfew,” Daniel Andrews, the prime minister of the state of Victoria, whose capital is Melbourne, told reporters on Sunday. “The Victorians sacrificed so much,” he added, later promising that the lockdown would be the city’s last.

Credit…Hannah Peters / Getty Images

New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, will extend its lockdown, the toughest in the world, for another two weeks, making it an outlier in the Asia-Pacific region as nations seek to relax domestic restrictions and reconnect with the rest of the world connect to.

The city with around 1.7 million inhabitants has been closed since August 17th after an outbreak of the Delta variant. Around 50 new cases have been reported every day since the beginning of October. One death was reported on October 8, bringing the number to 28 since the pandemic.

The government has been put under pressure by some health experts to tighten the restrictions even further, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference on Monday.

“A number of distinguished scientists and epidemiologists had suggested a return to Level 4,” she said, referring to the country’s highest restrictions. The government chose to keep current attitudes “because of the nature of the outbreak and the fact that compliance is an issue,” she said.

Northland, the region immediately north of Auckland, would come out of its 10-day lockdown just before midnight on Tuesday, Ms. Ardern said, while Waikato would continue to be subject to severe restrictions in the south of the city.

Although New Zealand is no longer aiming to completely eliminate the virus, Ms. Ardern said the country will not relax local restrictions until more people are vaccinated.

By Monday, 85 percent of the population 12 and older had received a first dose of a vaccine and 66 percent had received both doses. On Friday, the government will announce a formal vaccination target for the country, Ms. Ardern said.

New Zealand held a “Vaxathon” on Saturday in an attempt to break its national record of 93,000 vaccinations against the coronavirus in a single day. More than 130,000 people, or approximately 2.5 percent of the eligible population, received a dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine that day, according to the Department of Health.

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LifeProof expands sustainable case lineup to the new iPhone 13 Sun, 17 Oct 2021 22:00:00 +0000

– LifeProof continues to use recycled plastic from the ocean for iPhone 13 cases –

HONG KONG, Oct 18, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Apple and LifeProof share an important commitment to sustainability. The latest iPhones are a testament to this commitment, from using recycled aluminum to an end-of-life recycling program to reducing water pollution during production. Coupled with LifeProof’s efforts to recycle plastic from the ocean, you can feel good about your plans to upgrade to and protect the latest device.

LifeProof expands sustainable case lineup to the new iPhone 13

LifeProof WĀKE, NËXT and SEE cases for iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max made from recycled materials are now available on and will be available soon.

“Much like Apple’s commitment to reducing, reusing and returning as much water as possible to the local environment, LifeProof is committed to preserving our oceans by innovating a durable, recycled marine-based plastic for our enclosures,” said LifeProof CEO Jim Parke. “All LifeProof cases are now made from recycled plastic, which has resulted in the reuse of over 37,500 pounds of recycled marine-based plastic.”

WĀKE was founded to address the growing problem of plastic in our oceans. This 85 percent ocean-based recycled plastic housing doesn’t compromise on protection – it meets the LifeProof standard of 6.6 feet of fall protection. WĀKE is available in four colors and has a simple wave pattern.

SEE is a case with a transparent back that protects the iPhone 13 from falling. This slim, one-piece housing is a clear eye-catcher for your device and consists of over 50 percent recycled materials. SEE for MagSafe is a two-tone slim case designed for the perfect wireless charging connection.

NËXT has quickly become a fan favorite and delivers fresh new colors for the iPhone 13. NËXT is drop-proof up to 2.6 feet, dirt and snow-proof and is made from 50 percent recycled plastic.

FRĒ stands out for its all-time streamlined design and is made from 60 percent recycled materials. With its signature waterproof protection to a depth of 2.6 feet and a drop, dirt, and snow-proof cover, FRĒ is ready to go wherever you go. An integrated screen protector keeps the display scratch-free and the touchscreen sensitivity intact. FRĒ will soon be available for the iPhone 13 in different colors and with MagSafe compatibility.

There is a wide range of LifeProof cases available for iPhone 13 today. WAKE UP, NEXT, SEE and SEE for MagSafe are now available on To collect these products and for more information, visit assured of

About LifeProof:
LifeProof is designed for those who wake up before sunrise to paddle before work. And those who postpone sleep to tone up a new song. And those who lose track of time because they got lost in creating, exploring, practicing, dancing or reinventing themselves. LifeProof is there to keep the wind in your sails while you live full time.

At LifeProof we build products that inspire people to get lost in the now. From independents to athletes, set designers to globetrotters, creatives to curators – free spirits everywhere turn to our suitcases and accessories to satisfy their passions, because only LifeProof is made to follow you into the moment.

For more information, visit SECURE LIFE.ASIA. #ShowUsyour evidence


© 2021 TreeFrog Developments, Inc. All rights reserved. The LifeProof name and trademarks are owned by TreeFrog Developments, Inc., registered in the US and other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Copyright © acrofan All rights reserved

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Stronger GDP growth in 2021, global tax treaty could affect future growth Sun, 17 Oct 2021 14:29:00 +0000

Our increased growth expectations of 14.9% for this year are largely due to activities with limited domestic connections, including exports by multinationals with large amounts of intellectual property, particularly in the high-tech foreign-owned sectors such as pharmaceuticals and IT. Given the importance of such multinationals to Ireland’s GDP, the underlying economy’s output growth is projected to be significantly lower at around 5% for the year, broadly in line with that of the euro area.

Ireland drops opposition to global corporate tax treaty

Ireland’s favorable corporate tax regime has been a major driver for businesses to relocate to the country. After lengthy negotiations, the government dropped its opposition to the second pillar of the OECD global corporate tax treaty after assuring that the current tax rate of 12.5% ​​can be maintained for companies with annual sales of less than EUR 750 million. The first pillar of the agreement, which would move some tax rights away from business-based countries to customer-based countries, has already received widespread support despite the likely lower tax revenues for the Irish government.

Following initial proposals for a corporation tax rate of at least 21%, the additional concession that the lower 15% rate will only be applied to the largest companies mitigates some of the risks to the Irish economic growth model.

The EUR 750 million threshold affects approximately 1,560 large Irish and overseas companies with approximately 500,000 employees and less than 1% of Irish resident companies.

The deal would allow Ireland to keep its tax rate of 12.5% ​​for most businesses, which should help limit the damage to the country’s international competitiveness. However, the introduction of reforms to redistribute taxation rights should make Ireland less attractive to multinational companies, especially those wishing to move for purely tax reasons.

Clearly, Ireland’s attractiveness to multinational companies is not solely due to its corporate tax system

The country benefits from several important factors that make it an attractive location for international business. This includes the English language, a well-trained workforce, a supportive business environment, unrestricted access to the EU single market and a convenient time zone.

Multinational corporations are vital to Ireland’s tax revenue. Sectors dominated by these companies contributed more than 40% of the government’s tax revenue from VAT, personal income and corporate taxes in 2020. In particular, the strength of corporate and income tax revenues helped prop up government finances during the pandemic.

The overall impact of global tax changes on Ireland’s tax collection has likely been limited

Global corporate tax changes may dampen Ireland’s strong economic growth in the coming years, but the overall impact of global tax changes on Ireland’s tax revenue is likely to be limited.

The Irish government previously estimated that the OECD proposals on the first pillar would raise around 2 billion could largely offset the first pillar.

You can find an overview of all today’s economic events in our economic calendar.

Eiko Sievert is Director of Ratings for Sovereign and Public Sector at Scope Ratings GmbH.

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