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New Coalition Aims to Make Zero-Emissions Shipping Plain Sailing

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The World Economic Forum, the Global Maritime Forum and Friends of Ocean Action today launch the Getting to Zero Coalition at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, with the goal of decarbonizing the international maritime shipping sector by 2030. The coalition represents leaders from across the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors and is supported by decision-makers from government and international organizations.

International shipping carries around 80% of global trade and accounts for 2%-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually. Emissions are projected to grow by between 50% to 250% by 2050 if no action is taken. The Getting to Zero Coalition is committed to addressing this by getting commercially viable, deep-sea, zero-emission vessels into operation by 2030.

The demand for zero-emission fuels derived from renewable resources also has the potential to drive substantial investment in clean energy projects in developing countries with a large untapped renewable energy potential.

The Getting to Zero Coalition is part of the Mission Possible platform, an alliance of experts, businesses and policy partners focused on helping seven key sectors – shipping, aviation, heavy-duty road transport, aluminium, chemicals, cement and concrete, and iron and steel – achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

“The Forum is committed to helping those industries that face the greatest challenges in meeting the Paris Climate Goals achieve net zero emissions. This goal will only be achieved if we can adopt a system-wide approach, and through the commitment of both the public and private sectors to prioritize long-term vision of short-term expedience,” said Dominic Waughray, Managing Director, Head of the Centre for Global Public Goods, World Economic Forum.

The ambition of the Getting to Zero Coalition is closely aligned with the UN International Maritime Organization’s strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gases. The strategy prescribes that international shipping must reduce its total annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% of 2008 levels by 2050, while pursuing efforts to phasing them out as soon as possible this century. This will align greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping with the Paris Agreement targets.

“A healthy ocean is key to achieving the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and the Getting to Zero Coalition is an important move in the right direction. Business as usual will not get us where we need to be to achieve sustainability – so it is very encouraging to see hard-to-abate sectors like global seaborne trade boldly stepping up to chart this new course. Let us all support the continued development of cleaner technologies and new fuel solutions,” said Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean and Co-Chair, Friends of Ocean Action.

Industry partners of the Getting to Zero Coalition range from Mærsk and Shell to Citigroup and Cargill, while knowledge partners include Environmental Defense Fund, University College London and the Energy Transitions Commission.

“Energy efficiency has been an important tool which has helped us reduce CO₂ emissions per container by 41% over the last decade and position ourselves as a leader 10% ahead of the industry average. However, efficiency measures can only keep shipping emissions stable, not eliminate them. To take the next big step change towards decarbonization of shipping, a shift in propulsion technologies or a shift to clean fuels is required which implies close collaboration from all parties. The coalition launched today is a crucial vehicle to make this collaboration happen,” said Søren Skou, Chief Executive Officer, A.P. Møller-Mærsk.

Getting to Zero Coalition members

Cargill, Lloyd’s Register, Trafigura, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Anglo-Eastern, Berge Bulk, Caravel Group, Danske Bank, Gard, Forward Ships, KC Maritime, Kuehne + Nagel, MAN Energy Solutions, Marine Capital, MISC, Port of Aarhus, RightShip, Siemens Gamesa, Skuld, Snam, The China Navigation Company, Torvald Klaveness, Tufton Oceanic, Unilever, Vestas, World Fuel Services, Wärtsilä Corporation, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services

Knowledge partners

Environmental Defense Fund

Energy Transitions Commission

University College London (UCL) and University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS)

Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI)

Supported by

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF)

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA)

Getting to Zero Coalition partners

Global Maritime Forum

Friends of Ocean Action

World Economic Forum

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ADB Project to Improve Fiscal Management, Develop Capital Markets in Armenia

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $40 million-equivalent policy-based loan attached to reforms that help strengthen fiscal sustainability and develop the financial and capital markets in Armenia. These are crucial enablers of private sector development.

Armenia’s economic growth over the last few years has been hampered by low levels of investment, both foreign and domestic, given the high costs of local currency finance and related constraints in the financial system. Efficiency-promoting upgrades in public investment and fiscal management are also needed to ensure sustained improvements in fiscal outlook and sovereign risk pricing.

“Financial markets remain nascent in Armenia, which limits the development of the country’s private sector and the banking industry,” said ADB Senior Financial Sector Economist for Central and West Asia Mr. João Farinha Fernandes. “This also constrains public finance and fiscal management, while exposing the economy to financial stability risks. ADB’s assistance is intended to help ensure that Armenia develops a conducive fiscal and financial intermediation environment where private sector players, both big and small, can contribute to growth and development.”

ADB approved a $50 million policy-based loan in November 2018 as part of an ongoing programmatic engagement on financial reforms to strengthen public debt and fiscal risk management, and to develop financial markets in Armenia.

The Second Public Efficiency and Financial Markets Program continues these reforms by strengthening the effectiveness of the government’s fiscal risk management function; promoting the development of fiscally responsible public–private partnerships; and enhancing market transparency and predictability in public debt management. The program will also improve the infrastructure of the government securities market and money market infrastructure, enhancing the sustainability and resilience of Armenia’s finance sector.

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Bangladesh Can Boost its Exports with Better Logistics

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To meet the needs of its growing economy and to boost export growth, Bangladesh needs to improve its transport and logistics systems, says a new World Bank report launched today. 

The report Moving Forward: Connectivity and Logistics to Sustain Bangladesh’s Success, finds that by making logistics more efficient, Bangladesh can significantly boost export growth, maintain its position as a leading ready-made-garments and textile producer, and create more jobs. The report notes that congestion on roads and in seaports, high logistics costs, inadequate infrastructure, distorted logistics service markets, and fragmented governance hamper manufacturing and freight, further eroding Bangladesh’s competitive edge and putting its robust growth path at risk. 

“Bangladesh’s congested transportation and often unsophisticated logistics systems impose high costs to the economy,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan. “By making its logistics more efficient, Bangladesh can significantly optimize its connectivity, business environment, and competitiveness, putting the country on the right path to become a dynamic upper-middle-income country.”

Efficient logistics, the report argues, has become one of the main drivers for global trade competitiveness and export growth and diversification. For Bangladesh, improving its logistics performance provides an opportunity to increase its world market share in garments and textiles, which account for 84 percent of its total exports, expand into new markets, and diversify its manufacturing and agriculture into high-value products. 

The report notes that improving Bangladesh’s logistics requires a system-wide approach based on greater coordination among all public institutions involved in logistics and with the private sector, increasing the effective capacity of core infrastructure, and removing distortions in logistics service markets to reduce costs and improve quality. At a regional level, harmonizing its logistics systems and aligning its customs with that of its neighbors could turn Bangladesh into an important node for regional freight flows and further boost its trade. 

“There’s no doubt that reforms and investments for better transport and logistics will yield Bangladesh substantial economic benefits and strengthen its competitive advantage,” said Matías Herrera Dappe, Senior Economist at the World Bank and author of the report. “But the solution to logistics is not just to invest more but to invest better, by focusing on the service gap, and creating the incentives for high quality and competitive logistics services.”

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New development models to drive growth and employment for youth in Africa

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The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today launched the Global Environment Outlook-6 (GEO-6) for Youth in Africa report on the margins of the 17th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN).

The report analyses the economic opportunities that Africa’s natural resources can provide for job creation and sustainable development. It also provides a package of solutions to tackle Africa’s youth unemployment through the Green Economy.

“This Publication is anchored substantively in the UNEP’s sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) Regional Assessment for Africa,” said Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for Africa. “This Assessment has a very clear message; Africa has an opportunity to use its large young population to drive its growth.”

Africa’s youth remains the most hit by unemployment. One-third of Africa’s 420 million youth aged 15 to 35 are unemployed. Of these, 35 per cent are vulnerably employed and 19 per cent are inactive. These numbers will increase dramatically unless urgent actions are not taken.

The report recommends that Africa’s natural capital should be managed sustainably to enhance the livelihoods of African young population, create more sustainable and decent jobs as well as increase social and economic cohesion.

“The Green Economy calls for a paradigm shift in the way that we produce and consume. If young people are the centre of such a shift, they will secure a sustainable future replete with sustainable livelihoods,” said Professor Lee White, Minister for Environment, Forest and Oceans of Gabon and outgoing President of AMCEN. “The Global Environment Outlook-6 for Youth, Africa: A Wealth of Green Opportunities digs deep into that future and shows young people how they can secure their livelihoods through green jobs.”

Natural resources remain a key source of employment in Africa. Eight out of ten people’s employment on the continent are supported by natural resources. Nearly six million Africans are employed in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, ten million people work in the wildlife sector and an average of 54 per cent in the agricultural sector.

The report includes case studies and success stories on African youth who have invested in natural resources to develop entrepreneurship, improve their knowledge and skills as well as create jobs and sustain their livelihoods.

The report calls on governments to encourage youth to invest in green economy through creating platforms for innovation in sustainable development. While confirming the potential of youth in leading green growth in Africa, the report strongly establishes the correlation between green economy and decent jobs.

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