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World Leaders Negotiate on Energy Access

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As world leaders enter into final negotiations ahead of the Copenhagen climate talks, almost a quarter of the global population 1.5 billion people – live without electricity, 80 per cent of them in the least developed countries (LDCs) of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

The release came from a new United Nations report that shines alight on the plight of the three billion people without access to modern energy services.

The report entitled the Energy Access situation in Developing Countries, a Review following on the least Developed Countries and sub-Saharan Africa was produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)  in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and with support from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

“Almost half of humanity is completely disconnected from the debate on how to drive human progress with less emission and greener energy because their reality is much more basic than that: they carry heavy loads of water and food on their backs because they don’t have transport, they cook over wood fires that damage their health, not with electricity, gas or oil”, said Olarkyorven, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of  Development Policy at UNNDP.

We must ensure that the energy needs of these people are central to a new climate agreement”, he said. According to the Report to halve the proportion of people living in poverty by 2015 – the first of eight, internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – 1.2 billion more people will need access to electricity and two billion more people will need access to modern fuels like natural gas or Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also called propane.

Two million people die every day from cases associated with exposure to smoke from cooking with biomass and coal and 99 per cent of those deaths occur in developing countries.

In LDCs and Sub-Saharan Africa, half of all deaths from pneumonia in children under five years, chronic lung disease and lung cancer in adults are attributed to the use of solid fuel, compared with 38 per cent in developing countries overall.

“Expanding energy access is essential to tackle global purity. It needs to happen at the lowest cost and in the cleanest and most sustainable way possible to help developing countries establish a low-carbon  route to development”, said Mr. Kjorven.

The IEA UNDP and WHO have formed forces to tackle energy poverty across the developing world. The recently launched IEA world Energy outlook 2009 seeks to add momentum to the upcoming Copenhagen talks around the issue of energy, detailing practical steps needed for a sustainable energy future as part of a global climate deal.

“The time has come to make hard choices needed to combat climate change and enhance global energy security, and at the same time we should not forget 1.5 billion people who have no access to electricity in the developing world”, said Dr. Faith Burol, Chief Economist of IEA. “The world Energy Outlook 2009 demonstrates that containing climate change is possible but will require a profound transformation of  the global energy system. I hope to see a strong signal sent from Copenhagen to the energy sector to kick-off this transformation”, she said.

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Nigeria, 12 Others To Drive Global Trade By 2030 – Report

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A trade research report has indicated that Nigeria and 12 other countries will be responsible for the driving of the global trade to the tune of $30 trillion by the year 2030.
The research, which was commissioned by Standard Chartered and prepared by PwC Singapore posited that Nigeria and 12 other countries would be responsible for driving global trade to $30tn by 2030.
According to the report sponsored by the Singaporean organisation, the global exports would be more than double from $17.4tn to $29.7tn over the next decade, while much of the growth would be driven by 13 markets.
It said Nigeria would be growing at an annual rate of 9.7 per cent, with about $112bn in exports by 2030, through key corridors such as India, Indonesia and Mainland China.
It also stated that Kenya, the second African nation on the list, would be growing by 7.6 per cent annually, with $10bn in exports by 2030 through key corridors namely, Pakistan, Uganda and the United States of America.
The list consists mostly of Asian countries with Mainland China contributing the most at $5.02tn by 2030 and growing at 7.1 per cent annually.
Other countries are Hong Kong ($939bn, 5.7 per cent), South Korea ($972bn, 7.1 per cent), and India ($564bn, 7.6 per cent).
Bangladesh, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia also featured in the report.
The report is based on an analysis of historical trade data and projections until 2030, as well as insights from a survey of more than 500 C-suite and senior leaders in global companies.
According to the report, global trade will be reshaped by five key trends: the wider adoption of sustainable and fair-trade practices, a push for more inclusive participation, greater risk diversification, more digitisation and a rebalancing towards high-growth emerging markets.
It said almost 90 per cent of the corporate leaders surveyed agreed that these trends would be shaping the future of trade and would be forming part of their five to 10-year cross-border expansion strategies.
The research also found a significant trend towards the adoption of sustainable trade practices in response to climate concerns and a rising wave of conscious consumerism.
It said while almost 90 per cent of corporate leaders acknowledged the need to implement these practices across their supply chains, only 34 per cent ranked it as a ‘top three’ priority for execution over the next five to 10 years.

By: Corlins Walter

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Currency In Circulation Rose By N129bn In Oct – CBN

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The currency in circulation in the country rose by N129bn to N2.97tn in October from N2.84tn in September, according to the figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The currency in circulation had fallen to N2.78tn in August from N2.81tn in July.
It stood at N2.74tn in June, N2.79tn in May, N2.79tn in April, N2.8tn in March, N2.78tn in February and N2.83tn in January.
The CBN said, “The currency in circulation increased by N465.47bn or 19.06 per cent to N2.91tn in 2020, compared with N2.44tn in 2019.
“In 2020, there were higher withdrawals by DMBs than deposits, due to the panic need to hold cash to deal with the emergencies and reduced banking hours due to restrictions to curb spread of the pandemic”.
The apex bank said to maintain public confidence and ensure integrity of circulated notes in the economy, it developed and unveiled a clean note policy and banknote fitness guidelines in 2018.
The guidelines outlined details of quarterly and yearly activities towards the achievement of this objective.
According to the CBN, the clean note policy encapsulates diverse currency management activities to preserve the integrity and maintain the quality of banknotes in circulation.
The policy provides that every newly printed and existing banknotes should conform to predefined standards before circulation and re-circulation in the economy.
Currency in circulation is defined as currency outside the vaults of the central bank – that is, all legal tender currency in the hands of the general public and in the vaults of the deposit money banks.
The CBN said it employed the “accounting/statistical/withdrawals and deposits approach” to compute the currency in circulation in the country.
It said this approach involved tracking the movements in currency in circulation on a transaction-by-transaction basis.
According to the CBN, for every withdrawal made by a DMB at one of CBN’s branches, an increase in CIC is recorded; and for every deposit made by a DMB at one of CBN’s branches, a decrease in CIC is recorded.
The transactions are all recorded in the CBN’s CIC account, and the balance on the account at any point in time represented the country’s currency in circulation.

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CBN’s eNaira Records 600,000 Downloads Within One Month

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Barely four weeks after its launch in October, the eNaira app of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has witnessed about 600,000 downloads.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this in a statement at the weekend, said, “In less than four weeks since its launch, almost 600,000 downloads of the e-Naira application have taken place.
“Efforts are ongoing to encourage faster adoption of the e-Naira by Nigerians who do not have smart phones.
“The support of the financial industry will be critical in the ongoing deployment of the e-Naira and efforts are ongoing to encourage continued partnership between the CBN and stakeholders in the financial industry”.
The CBN governor also said that building a robust payment system that would provide cheap, efficient, and faster means of conducting payments for most Nigerians have always been the focus of the apex bank.
According to him, the growing pace of digitization globally makes it essential that they leverage on digital channels in fulfilling this objective.
Emefiele disclosed that total transaction volumes using digital channels were more than doubled between 2018 and 2020, as volumes rose from 1.3 billion to over 3.3 billion financial transactions in 2020.
He added that digital payment channels also helped to support continued conduct of business activities during the lockdown.
The CBN boss noted that the robust payment system has continued to evolve towards meeting the needs of households and businesses in Nigeria. This, according to him, reflects the confidence people have in the payment system.
He said that between 2015 and September 2021, about US$900 million has been invested in firms being run by Nigerian founders.
“Notwithstanding these gains, close to 36 per cent of adult Nigerians do not have access to financial services.
“Improving access to finance for individuals and businesses through digital channels can help to improve financial inclusion, lower the cost of transactions, and increase the flow of credit to households and businesses,’’ Emefiele added.

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